Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (08/04/1999)

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 Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; (20) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; (19) Agricultural Marketing Service; (21) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration; (22) Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety; (23) Food Safety and Inspection Service; (24) Office of the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services; (25) Farm Service Agency; (26) Risk Management Agency; (27) Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Fund; and (28) 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; (4) Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corporation Revolving Fund; and (5) 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; and (2) Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

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

(Sec. 712) 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. 713) 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. 727) Prohibits funds under this Act from being used (fund use) to enroll more than 180,000 acres in the FY 2000 wetlands reserve program.

(Sec. 728) Prohibits fund use for the emergency food assistance program if such program exceeds $97 million.

(Sec. 729) Prohibits fund use for the transfer or obligation of FY 2000 initiative for future agriculture and food system program amounts in excess of $50 million.

(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; (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 of Agriculture 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. 739) Prohibits fund use to declare excess, or transfer, Department facilities at Fort Reno, Oklahoma, without congressional authorization.

(Sec. 740) Directs the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service to redistribute certain funds for a specified watershed project in Mississippi.

(Sec. 741) 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. 742) Directs the Secretary to provide guaranteed credit lines for health care facilities to address Year 2000 computer conversion issues.

(Sec. 743) Directs the Secretary to compensate producers for any losses incurred in the seizure, quarantine, or destruction of karnal bunt-infested wheat.

(Sec. 744) Appropriates specified funds for providing Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Fellowships through the Congressional Hunger Center.

(Sec. 745) Appropriates specified funds for the farmland protection program in New Hampshire.

(Sec. 746) 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. 747) 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. 748) Directs the Secretary to use specified amounts of Commodity Credit Corporation funds for assistance to: (1) owners and producers eligible for FY 1999 production flexibility payments; (2) producers of fruits and vegetables, including payments to producers of quota and additional peanuts to partially compensate for low prices and increased production costs; (3) producers of crop year 1999 oilseeds eligible for marketing assistance loans; (4) livestock and dairy producers; (5) tobacco growers; and (6) producers for additional crop year 2000 crop insurance.

Limits crop year 1999 marketing loan and loan deficiency payments.

Amends the Agricultural Market Transition Act with respect to upland cotton marketing loans to: (1) reduce one of the criteria for issuance of cotton user market certificates; (2) eliminate certificate expenditure limitations; and (3) revise special import quota provisions.

Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the President should make a formal request for fast-track authority for future U.S. trade negotiations; (2) future World Trade Organization negotiations should strengthen rules for agricultural trade and reduce trade- distorting practices; (3) the President should evaluate existing export and food aid programs; and (4) the Secretary should carry out a FY 1999 and 2000 purchase and donation sales initiative to promote beef, pork, poultry, and soybean exports.

Requires congressional approval of any unilateral agricultural or medical sanction imposed by the President, including existing sanctions, with exceptions for declarations of war, certain controlled articles, and countries supporting terrorism.

(Sec. 749) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the United States should: (1) phase out use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) for public health and environmental reasons; (2) promote use of renewable ethanol; and (3) assist State and local governments to treat and protect water sources from MTBE contamination.

(Sec. 750) Prohibits fund use to award certain small business sole source or price preference agricultural procurement contracts if such contract would exceed the business' capacity or require subcontracting.

(Sec. 751) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the Secretary shall exercise reasonable treatment of producers to avoid harmful consequences regarding the inadvertent planting of dried beans on contact acres.

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

(Sec. 754) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the President should include in the FY 2001 budget request funding to implement the United States Plan Action Plan on Food Security.

(Sec. 755) Directs the Farm Service Agency, in light of economic hardships facing apple growers, to review relevant assistance programs, including whether existing operating loan limits are sufficient to cover increasing operating costs.

(Sec. 756) 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. 757) Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to extend within-State lease and transfer of burley tobacco quota authority to Kentucky.

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

(Sec. 759) 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. 760) Amends the Food Stamp Act, as of FY 2001, to include Native Alaskan villages within food stamp program administrative cost-sharing authority.

(Sec. 761) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the Secretary shall periodically review a specified Food Packages list and consider including additional foods for women, infants, and children.

(Sec. 762) 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. 763) Provides, as of FY 2001, for an allotment of at least $2 million under each of the Hatch Act and the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 for any State with a congressionally authorized cost of living adjustment for Federal workers.

(Sec. 765) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the FDA, in conducting an Import Food Survey, should ensure timely produce testing by conducting survey tests at Department or FDA laboratories closest to ports of entry if testing results are not provided within 24 hours.

(Sec. 766) Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act, as reenacted by the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937, to provide that producer milk prices in Clark County, Nevada, shall: (1) not be subject to Federal marketing orders; and (2) be regulated only by Nevada and the Nevada State Dairy Commission.

(Sec. 767) Expresses the sense of the Senate that World Trade Organization members should undertake negotiations to eliminate policies and programs that distort world commodity markets.