Appropriations process continues as year-end approaches

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a spending package in late July, which contains bills that set funding levels for the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior. The spending package totals over $600 billion and includes seven Fiscal Year 2022 spending bills.

Under the House bill, the Department of the Interior would receive $15.6 billion, including increases for programs The Wildlife Society supports. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Cooperative Research Units program would receive $27.5 million—$2.5 million above FY 2021 levels. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program would receive $82.4 million, a $10 million increase from funding in FY 2021.

The Department of Agriculture would receive $26.5 billion under the House spending package. USDA Wildlife Services, which protects wildlife, agriculture, and human health and safety from wildlife damage and wildlife-borne diseases, would see a modest increase in the package with spending proposed at $140 million.

The House bill also includes funding for Farm Bill conservation programs, as well as $894.7 million for Private Lands Conservation Operations as administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. That includes Conservation Technical Assistance, a program that provides landowners with site-specific solutions needed to implement conservation programs, while also providing for public accountability to ensure funds are spent as intended. This funding exceeds The Wildlife Society’s recommendation of $890 million for conservation operations.

The House has crafted several additional FY 22 spending bills, outpacing the Senate, which has not completed consideration of any of its 12 Fiscal Year 2022 spending bills. Movement in the full Senate is not expected until after the August congressional recess.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has however recently approved the FY 2022 spending bill for agriculture programs. The bill provides nearly $26 billion in funding, a $2.5 billion increase in discretionary spending over FY 2021 and just slightly less than the $26.55 billion bill already approved by the House.

Existing federal funding expires Sept. 30. Congress will likely need to pass a continuing resolution or other stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Read TWS’ testimony on the FY 2022 Interior budget.

Read TWS’ testimony on the FY 2022 agriculture budget.

Header Image: Congress is working on the FY 2022 spending bills, as the end of the current fiscal year looms.
Credit: Lisa McNee / BLM