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"(E) maintain and protect the environment and
natural resources of the United States.
"(3) Requires the working Group to conduct a systematic
"(4) Provides that the first strategy be transmitted to
"(5) Authorizes the working Group to hold open public
"(A) improve communication and encourage coop
eration among Federal departments and
as well as duplication and gaps in program
field offices of agencies administering similar or complementary programs and unification of delivery systems, where feasible, to maximize convenience and accessibility of such agencies and programs
to rural residents; "(D) facilitate and expedite joint funding of rural
projects through such programs; " (E) correct administrative problems in such pro
grams that hinder the effective delivery of Federal services, assistance, and, benefits to rural areas;
"(F) reduce the administrative and paperwork
requirements of rural applicants under such
programs; " (G) simplify, standardize, and reduce the com
plexity of applications, reports, and other
forms required under such programs; and " (H) expedite processing of such applications,
reports, and other forms.
"(7) Requires the Working Group to hold public hearings on
"(8) Requires the Working Group to assist the Chairman in developing a systematic method or process through which rural development needs, goals, objectives and plans at all levels can be ascertained, recommendations can be received, and data on development needs and conditions affecting the quality of life in rural areas can be obtained and assessed on a continuing basis.
"(9) Requires the Working Group to review rules or regula-
Health, Education & Welfare Labor
Housing and Urban Development Treasury
Community Services Administration
Also provides that the Chairman may invite the participation
"(d) Provides that the Chairman shall issue such regulations as are deemed necessary to govern the functioning of the Working Group.
"(e) (1) Authorizes the Working Group to secure necessary information directly from any Federal department or agency, and requires heads of such agencies to furnish such information on request.
"(2) (A) Authorizes the Secretary to detail such personnel
"(i) directly responsible to the head of such
Federal department or agency; "(ii) primarily engaged in activities related to
the work of the Working Group; and "(iii) directly involved in coordination of the
rural development efforts of such Federal
department or agency. "(f) Authorizes the Secretary to undertake cooperative efforts with any Federal department or agency represented on the Working Group to improve the coordination and effectiveness of Federal programs, services, and actions affecting rural areas. Authorizes the Secretary to reimburse them for a portion of the cost incurred in such cooperative efforts. " (g) Requires the working Group to transmit an annual report to Congress by January 31, beginning in 1981. Each report must contain a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Working Group regarding the implementation of the current strategy, any recommendations for revision of the strategy or for necessary rural development legislation. Each report must also contain an analysis of the President's budget recommendations and projections relevant or essential to the current strategy.
"(h) Authorizes appropriations necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
"SECTION 608 Amends the Organic Act of the Department of Agriculture to require the Secretary to initiate or expand research and development efforts related to solution of problems of technology appropriate to small and moderate sized family farming operations and any other problem which
the Secretary may determine has an effect upon economic development or the quality of life in rural areas.
"SECTION 609 Amends section 306(a) (11) of the Consolidated
"SECTION 611 Amends section 331 of the Consolidated Farm, and Rural Development Act by changing the name of the Farmers Home Administration to the Farmers Home and Rural Development Administration.
SECTION 3 Amends section 503 of the Rural Development Act of 1972
to extend the Small Farm Research and Extension programs through September 30, 1981 at the existing annual authorization level of $20,000,000. (TITLE V)
SECTION 4 Amends section 507 (b) of the Rural Development Act of 1972
to add Guam and the Virgin Islands to the definition of
SECTION 5 Amends Section 603 of the Rural Development Act of 1972
to delete the requirement that the Secretary include in his annual report under that section, information on his efforts to most efficiently utilize USDA field offices and field
personnel to promote rural development. SECTION 6 Provides that the provisions of this Act shall become
effective on October 1, 1979.
MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN H.R. 10885 (95th) and H.R. 3580 (96th)
1. The Rural Development Policy Act of 1978, H.R. 10885 in the 95th Congress has undergone revision and has become the Rural Development Policy Act of 1979, H.R. 3580 in the 96th Congress.
2. A new Section 1 has been added, outlining Congressional findings as to the need and purpose of the bill.
3. The Federal Rural Development Council called for in H.R. 10885 has been replaced by the Assistant Secretaries Working Group for Rural Development. This Group is in being now, and would be upgraded by this legislation. The responsibilities and duties assigned to the Council in H.R. 10885 would be assigned instead to the Working Group. This change would improve an existing body, rather than create a new one. 4. The Secretary of Agriculture would serve as Chairman of the working Group under H.R. 3580, and would be authorized to "issue such regulations as the Chairman deems necessary to govern the functioning of the Working Group." This clearly establishes the Chairman's control of the functions of this group and clarifies the role of the working Group in relation to the rural development policy responsibilities of the Secretary of Agriculture. 5. The duties of the working Group would be similar to those assigned to the Council under H.R. 10885:
to recommend comprehensive rural development strategies based on the needs, goals, objectives, plans and recommendations of local communities, sub-State areas, States, and multi-State regions;
to develop a process for grassroots input on rural development policy and programs, including open hearings;
to review federal programs affecting rural areas to determine whether such areas are benefiting from such programs in a proportion that is equitable in comparison to the benefits received in urban areas; and
to maximize coordination and effectiveness of federal programs affecting rural areas, and to review the impact of federal rules and regulations on rural areas.
6. The Sections of H.R. 10885 changing the name of USDA and creating a new Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development are eliminated. The name of the Farmers Home Administration would be changed to the Farmers Home and Rural Development Administration.
7. The provision in the Rural Development Grants section of H.R. 10885 that "Not more than 10 per centum of the funds awarded under this paragraph may be awarded to support the activities of the Federal Rural Development Council" is eliminated. Funding for this program would be increased from $10 million to $20 million instead of to $50 million as in H.R. 10885. In addition, the program would be broadened to allow use of the funds for rural development technical assistance, rural community leadership development, and community and areawide rural development planning.