H.R. 662 would amend title I of the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023 (division N of Public Law 117-328), to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to use block grants to states and territories under the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) to provide disaster assistance to agricultural producers. Title I of that act provided more than $3.7 billion to cover agricultural losses caused by natural disasters in calendar year 2022.
CBO is not aware of any laws, regulations, or other directives that prevent the Secretary from using block grants to distribute aid through ERP. Furthermore, based on information from the Department of Agriculture, CBO expects that explicitly allowing the department to use block grants to disburse those funds would not affect the timing of outlays. On that basis, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 662 would have no effect on the federal budget.