S. 1252, Global Food Security Act

S. 1252

Global Food Security Act

Sponsor
Sen. Robert P. Casey

Committee
Foreign Relations

Date
January 1, 1970 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 5, 2016 the House will consider S. 1252, the Global Food Security Act, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on May 7, 2015, by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and was referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which ordered the bill reported on March 10, 2016 with an amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. S. 1252 passed the Senate by voice vote on April 20, 2016 and was then referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported by Unanimous Consent on May 18, 2016.

Bill Summary

S. 1252 would provide policy guidance for and enhances the transparency of U.S. international disaster assistance and food security programs. Specifically this legislation:

  • Requires the President to coordinate the development and implementation of a Global Food Security Strategy to address global food insecurity and nutrition. The strategy would emphasize agriculture-led economic growth, improving maternal and child nutrition, building the resilience of communities, and civil society engagement;
  • Requires the President to submit the Global Food Security Strategy and plans for implementation to Congress no later than October 1, 2016;
  • Requires the President, no later than 1 and 2 years after the strategy is submitted to report to Congress on the implementation of the Global Food Secuirty Strategy for 2017 and 2018;
  • Authorizes appropriations to carry out international food security programs under the strategy at the FY2016 and FY2015 enacted level;
  • Authorizes appropriations to crarry out International Disaster Assistance (IDA) programs at the FY2016 enacted level and $537 million below the FY2015 enacted level;
  • Authorizes the President to make available emergency food assistance under the existing IDA – Emergency Food Security Program and establishes reporting requirements on the use of such funds and;
  • Requires the Office of Management and Budget to submit an interagency budget crosscut report to Congress no later than 120 after the President submits the budget to Congress.

Background

Today, a record 60 million people are displaced by conflict and nearly 800 million people face chronic hunger.  Conflict and hunger have proven to be a highly combustible mix that directly threatens the national security interests of the United States. From 2007 through 2008, unprecedented spikes in the price of staple foods sparked riots in 30 countries and destabilized major areas of Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. It is predicted that this situation will only worsen, and more countries will be thrown into chaos, as population growth pushes food prices up and availability down. By 2050, the world’s population is expected to grow to more than 9 billion people, which would require at least a 60% increase in agricultural production to meet global demand.[1]

In 2002, President George W. Bush launched the Initiative to End Hunger in Africa, bringing renewed focus to the role of agriculture in promoting security and stimulating economic growth in the developing world. Building upon that foundation,  President Obama joined other world leaders at the 2009 G-8 Summit in Italy to launch an effort to reduce poverty, hunger, and undernutrition through agricultural development.  The United States pledged $3.5 billion to this effort over three years and was matched by $18.5 billion in support from G-8 members and other donors.  The U.S. contribution came to be called “Feed the Future”, and the initial commitment of $3.5 billion was met in 2012.[2]

The existing Feed the Future (FTF) strategy supports food security priorities in partner countries and works to build capacity for sustainable development. By increasing agricultural productivity and opportunities for economic growth and trade, improving agricultural research and development, and boosting harvests and incomes of rural farmers, FTF attempts to provide families with the economic means to lift themselves out of poverty and pay for things like food, education, and health care.[3]

S. 1252 seeks to capture the most sucessful aspects of this existing effort while charting a course for a successor strategy that is more comprehensive, efficient, and effective; fully leverages the resources and expertise of relevant stakeholders, including the private sector; and helps communities lift themselves out of poverty. At the same time, the bill seeks to ensure greater coherence between U.S. disaster assistance and agricultural development programs so partner countries can better respond to their own food needs in the future. The bill prioritizes transparency and accountability, as well as monitoring, evaluation, and the sharing of lessons learned.

A substantively similar bill, H.R. 1567, the Global Food Security Act of 2016, passed the House on April 12, 2016 by 370-33. See the previous Legislative Digest for more information.

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[1] See https://feedthefuture.gov/about
[2] Id.
[3] Id.

Cost

S. 1252 would authorize the appropriation of almost $3.8 billion each for 2017 and 2018 for programs to implement that strategy and to provide assistance following international disasters. Assuming appropriation of those specified amounts, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing S. 1252 would cost $7.3 billion over the 2017-2021 period (most of the remainder would be spent after 2021).Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to S. 1252 because enacting it would not affect direct spending or revenues. CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.