Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Conference report filed in House (09/30/1999)

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000 - Title I: Agricultural Programs - Appropriates funds for FY 2000 for the following Department of Agriculture programs and services: (1) Office of the Secretary of Agriculture; (2) executive operations; (3) Office of the Chief Information Officer; (4) Office of the Chief Financial Officer; (5) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration; (6) Agriculture buildings and facilities and rental payments; (7) hazardous waste management; (8) departmental administration; (9) outreach for socially disadvantaged farmers; (10) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations; (11) Office of Communications; (12) Office of the Inspector General; (13) Office of the General Counsel; (14) Office of the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics; (15) Economic Research Service; (16) National Agricultural Statistics Service; (17) Agricultural Research Service; (18) Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; ( Native American Institutions Endowment Fund); (19) Office of the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; (20) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; (21) Agricultural Marketing Service; (22) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration; (23) Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety; (24) Food Safety and Inspection Service; (25) Office of the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services; (26) Farm Service Agency; (27) Risk Management Agency; (28) Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Fund; and (29) Commodity Credit Corporation Fund.

Title II: Conservation Programs - Appropriates funds for the: (1) Office of the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment; and (2) Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Title III: Rural Economic and Community Development Programs - Appropriates funds for the following: (1) Office of the Under Secretary for Rural Development; (2) Rural Housing Service; (3) Rural Business-Cooperative Service; and (4) Rural Utilities Service.

Title IV: Domestic Food Programs - Appropriates funds for the following: (1) Office of the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services; and (2) Food and Nutrition Service.

Title V: Foreign Assistance and Related Programs - Appropriates funds for the Foreign Agricultural Service and General Sales Manager.

Title VI: Related Agencies and Food and Drug Administration - Appropriates funds for the following: (1) Food and Drug Administration; (2) Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and (3) Farm Credit Administration.

Title VII: General Provisions - Specifies certain uses and limits on or prohibitions against the use of funds appropriated by this Act.

(Sec. 713) States that appropriations for the rural housing insurance fund program account for FY 1994 through 1999 guaranteed and direct loans shall remain available until expended.

(Sec. 714) Provides that FY 2000 obligations shall remain available until expended for the following accounts: (1) rural development loan fund program; (2) rural telephone bank program; (3) rural electrification and telecommunications loan program; (4) rural housing insurance fund program; and (5) rural economic development loan program.

(Sec. 718) Prohibits fund use to retire more than five percent of rural telephone bank Class A stock.

(Sec. 721) Prohibits more than 30-day intra-Department transfers without reimbursement.

(Sec. 722) Prohibits any appropriation use to make certain appropriation hearings information available to non-Department personnel.

(Sec. 723) Prohibits appropriations use to acquire new information technology systems for the Department without approval of the Chief Information Officer and concurrence of the Executive Information Technology Investment review Board.

(Sec. 724) Sets forth certain Appropriations Acts reprogramming procedures.

(Sec. 725) Prohibits fund use for the Fund for Rural America program.

(Sec. 726) Caps funding for the environmental quality incentives program.

(Sec. 727) Prohibits any fund use to pay producers under the Agricultural Market Transition Act unless contract payments are reduced for each acre planted to wild rice.

(Sec. 728) Prohibits funds under this Act from being used to enroll more than 150,000 acres in the FY 2000 wetlands reserve program.

(Sec. 729) Prohibits any fund use for the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems.

(Sec. 730) States that as of FY 2000, the definitions of rural areas for certain business programs and community facilities programs shall be those in effect prior to enactment of Public Law 104-127.

(Sec. 731) Prohibits fund use for any commodity purchase program that excludes farmer-owned cooperatives.

(Sec. 732) Prohibits fund use for the conservation farm option program.

(Sec. 733) Prohibits fund use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to: (1) relocate or close the Division of Drug Analysis, St. Louis, Missouri, or the District Office Laboratory, Detroit, Michigan; or (2) reduce staffing below a certain level at, or modify the status of, the Detroit, Michigan District Office.

(Sec. 734) Prohibits any fund use for agricultural products inspections unless the Secretary of Agriculture has made certain processing equipment inspections and imposed a related fee.

(Sec. 735) Prohibits any appropriations use for an agricultural submission to Congress that assumes reductions from the previous year's budget due to user fee proposals unless the submission also identifies spending reductions to occur if the user fees are not enacted.

(Sec. 736) Prohibits fund use to establish an Office of Community Food Security or similar office within the Department without prior approval by the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations.

(Sec. 737) Prohibits any fund use by the Agricultural Research Service to accept and administer the National Swine Research Center in Ames, Iowa.

(Sec. 738) Prohibits fund use for the emergency food assistance program if such program exceeds $98 million.

(Sec. 739) Prohibits appropriations use to implement the Kyoto Protocol.

(Sec. 741) Prohibits fund use to declare excess, or transfer, Department facilities at Fort Reno, Oklahoma, without congressional authorization.

(Sec. 742) Directs the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service to redistribute certain funds for a specified watershed project in Mississippi.

(Sec. 743) Directs the Secretary to offer to enter into an agreement (similar to an existing California agreement) with the Governor of Hawaii for a pilot program to inspect the mail for prohibited plants, products, and pests.

(Sec. 744) Directs the Secretary to provide guaranteed credit lines for health care facilities to address Year 2000 computer conversion issues.

(Sec. 745) Directs the Secretary to compensate producers for any losses incurred in the seizure, quarantine, or destruction of karnal bunt-infested wheat.

(Sec. 746) Appropriates specified funds for providing Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Fellowships through the Congressional Hunger Center.

(Sec. 747) Appropriates specified funds for the farmland protection program in New Hampshire.

(Sec. 748) Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act, with respect to temporary agricultural (H-2A) worker applications, to: (1) reduce the filing deadline from 60 days to 45 days; and (2) increase the certification issuance deadline from 20 days to 30 days.

(Sec. 749) States that if the Secretary's exercise of authority under this Act causes changes in an existing bargaining unit, the affected parties shall attempt to reach a voluntary agreement on a new bargaining unit and representative. Sets forth related provisions.

(Sec. 751) Sets forth limitations on HUBZone program contracts under the Small Business Act.

(Sec. 752) Redesignates the National School Lunch Act as the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.

(Sec. 754) Amends the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 to redesignate the Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center (Arkansas) as the Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center.

(Sec. 755) Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to extend within-State lease and transfer of burley tobacco quota authority to Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.

Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to authorize the Secretary to release tobacco production and marketing information to State trusts or similar organizations engaged in the distribution of national trust funds to tobacco producers and other related persons, to the extent that such release is: (1) in the interest of tobacco producers; and (2) to a State trust or other organization engaged in the distribution of funds to tobacco producers or other parties with an interest in tobacco production or farms under a national or State trust or settlement.

Directs the Secretary, prior to release of such information, to allow at least 15 days for persons whose release consent would otherwise be required to elect to be exempt from such release.

Requires a person obtaining released information to maintain records and not to use such information for other than permitted purposes. Provides penalties for knowing violations of the provisions of this Act.

Exempts from the provisions of this section: (1) cigarette manufacturer production records; (2) tobacco quota purchase intention records; and (3) buyer aggregate purchase records.

(Sec. 756) Makes Berlin, New Hampshire, eligible for a FY 2000 rural utilities loan or grant under the rural community advancement program.

(Sec. 757) Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act to extend marketing order promotion authority (including paid advertising) to cranberries. Authorizes the Secretary to require cranberry handlers and importers to provide acquisition, inventory, and disposition data.

(Sec. 758) Amends the Food Stamp Act, as of FY 2001, to include Native Alaskan villages within food stamp program administrative cost-sharing authority.

(Sec. 759) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian serving institutions for education, applied research, and related community development programs. Authorizes FY 2001 through 2006 appropriations.

(Sec. 760) Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act, reenacted with amendments by the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937, to state that the price of milk paid by a handler at a plant in Clark County, Nevada, shall not be subject to Federal milk marketing orders.

(Sec. 761) Makes Olean, New York, and Carolina, Puerto Rico, eligible for Rural Utilities Service grants and loans.

(Sec. 764) Prohibits fund use to implement specified FSA Notices.

(Sec. 766) Redesignates the U.S. Salinity Laboratory in Riverside, California, as the George E. Brown, Jr. Salinity Laboratory.

(Sec. 768) States that the maximum income limits for single family housing in high cost areas of Alaska shall be 150 percent of the Alaska metropolitan income level.

Title VIII: Emergency and Disaster Assistance for Producers - Subtitle A: Crop and Market Loss Assistance - Directs the Secretary to provide emergency assistance to producers who have disaster-caused 1999 losses (including livestock, fisheries, and trees from which a crop is harvested). States that producers with crop insurance shall not be discriminated against respecting such assistance.

Authorizes: (1) rice loan deficiency payments; and (2) recourse loans for honey and mohair.

(Sec. 802) Directs the Secretary to provide production loss assistance to producers who are eligible for final FY 1999 production flexibility payments. Makes such assistance available in proportion to amounts received under a producer's flexibility contract. Provides tenant and sharecropper protection (shared payments).

(Sec. 803) Directs the Secretary to provide assistance to: (1) 1999 producers of quota and additional peanuts; and (2) tobacco producers in accordance with the National Tobacco Grower Settlement Trust.

Permits, upon producer referendum approval, sale of flue-cured tobacco allotments or quotas to same-State farms.

(Sec. 804) Directs the Secretary to provide assistance to 1999 producers of soybeans and oilseeds who are eligible for marketing assistance loans.

(Sec. 805) Directs the Secretary to provide direct assistance to 1999 dairy and livestock producers.

(Sec. 806) Amends the Agricultural Market Transition Act to revise the upland cotton import quota and marketing certificate programs.

(Sec. 807) Extends the milk price support program through 2000.

Subtitle B: Other Assistance - Amends the Agricultural Market Transition Act to extend through FY 2002 authority for advance production flexibility contract payments.

(Sec. 812) Authorizes the Commodity Credit Corporation, in making in-kind payments respecting nonrecourse marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency payments, to: (1) acquire and use pledged commodities as loan collateral; (2) use other (owned) commodities; and (3) redeem negotiable marketing certificates for cash.

(Sec. 813) Limits 1999 marketing loan gains and loan deficiency payments to $150,000 per person.

(Sec. 814) Directs the Secretary to transfer specified Corporation funds to the Federal Crop Insurance Fund for the 2000 crop year.

(Sec. 815) Directs the Secretary to forgive certain water and waste disposal loan and interest amounts owed by Stroud, Oklahoma.

(Sec. 816) Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to permit the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center to make assistance available through intermediary financial institutions. Provides for privatization of the Center.

(Sec. 817) Appropriates additional FY 2001 funds for emergency disaster assistance to: (1) the Department for persons or entities affected by the 1999 fisheries failure in the Norton Sound region of Alaska; and (2) the Department of Commerce for the commercial fishery failure with respect to Northeast multi-species fisheries.

(Sec. 818) Expresses the sense of Congress: (1) that the President should request fast-track authority for future United States trade negotiations; and (2) respecting future World Trade Organization negotiations and agricultural commerce.

Subtitle C: Administration - Obligates specified funds for livestock and dairy producers.

Title IX: Livestock Mandatory Reporting - Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 - Subtitle A: Livestock Mandatory Reporting - Amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to define specified terms relating to livestock reporting, including cattle, lamb, and swine reporting.

Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish mandatory price reporting programs for live cattle and swine that: (1) provide timely and accurate market information; (2) facilitate informed marketing decisions; and (3) promote competition in the slaughtering industry. Sets forth reporting provisions for the Secretary and packers.

Requires mandatory packer reporting of boxed beef sales.

Authorizes the Secretary to establish a reporting price information program for lamb.

Sets forth enforcement provisions.

Prohibits the Secretary from charging user or service fees.

Requires the Secretary to encourage voluntary reporting by packers not subject to the mandatory requirements of this title.

Requires the Secretary to publish at least monthly information on retail prices for food products made from beef, pork, chicken, turkey, veal, or lamb.

Subtitle B: Related Beef Reporting Provisions - Amends the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 to include beef within the agricultural export commodities subject to weekly reporting by the Secretary.

(Sec. 922) Requires the Secretary to implement an electronic online system to issue and report on meat and meat product export certificates.

(Sec. 923) Requires the Secretary publish information on imports of beef, beef variety meats, and cattle.

(Sec. 924) Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle C: Related Swine Reporting Provisions - Requires the Secretary to publish on a monthly basis the Hogs and Pigs Inventory Report, including a separate category for gestating sows.

(Sec. 932) Requires the Secretary to make available to swine producers, packers, and other market participants information on swine slaughter that reflects differences in numbers between barrows and gilts.

(Sec. 933) Requires the Secretary to contract for a correlation study and report (and prepare subsequent reports) establishing a baseline and standards for determining and improving average trim loss measurements and processing techniques for swine slaughter.

(Sec. 934) Amends the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 to require the Secretary to establish and maintain a library of each contract type offered by packers to swine producers for the purchase and slaughter of swine, including non-carcass premiums. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the Comptroller General to report on the Secretary's authority and jurisdiction over packers and others involved in procuring, slaughtering, or processing swine, pork, or pork products under specified Acts.

(Sec. 935) Authorizes appropriations to carry out activities under this title.

Subtitle D: Implementation - Sets forth implementing provisions. Terminates the provisions of this Act five years after enactment of this Act.