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2012 SRS Funding – USDA Wants Money Back

Posted Date: 
March 22, 2013
Yejin Jang, Legislative Affairs Department, National Association of Counties

On March 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced to Congress that due to the enactment of the Budget Control Act – which mandated budget reductions totaling $85 billion for FY13 – that FY 2012 funding for the Secure Rural Schools program is subject to sequestration.  The announcement stated, “As mandated by sequestration, we will need to withdraw 5.1 percent of the payment that has already been received or reduce the amount to be dispersed in the coming weeks.”  The USDA further stated that “States … will receive a bill for collection to return the sequestered amount to Treasury.”

House Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) questioned the legality of the Administration’s decision and stated, “The President should be working with Congress on making smart and responsible cuts and reforms – not using the sequester as a tool to score political points on the backs of rural schools and communities by demanding refunds of dollars used to pay teacher and police salaries.”

The program (which is currently expired) received a one year funding extension for FY 2012 through the enactment of MAP-21 (P.L. 112-141) last Congress.  The USDA proposed sequestration cuts to SRS total $17.9 million.  Over the past six years, funding levels for the Secure Rural Schools program has been reduced by more than $180 million.  Further cuts to SRS will create dramatic budgetary shortfalls for 729 rural counties, severely impacting their ability to continue providing government services to the public.

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Contact: Ryan Yates 202.942.4207

Ryan R. Yates | (202) 942-4207 |