House 2020 Ag bill would stop Trump ERS, NIFA moves
The House Appropriations Committee today released the text of the fiscal year 2020 Agriculture and related agencies appropriations bill.
The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to hold a markup session on the bill at 10 a.m. Thursday.
The bill includes language blocking USDA’s proposal to relocate the Economic Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture outside the National Capital Region.
The bill also blocks USDA’s proposal to put ERS, currently under USDA’s research mission area, under the Office of the Chief Economist, which is under the Office of the Secretary.
The bill requires USDA to restore on its website in full all animal welfare and horse protection inspection reports that were taken down weeks after the Trump administration took office.
The legislation funds agencies and programs within the Department of Agriculture, the Farm Credit Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration.
Total discretionary funding in the legislation is $24.310 billion, which is $1 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. In total, the bill allows for $155.3 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding – $3.2 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
“We are proud that our first bill rejects the administration’s drastic cuts and instead provides robust funding to assure that all Americans have access to safe, high-quality, and low-cost food, medicine, and medical devices,” said House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Ga. “We increased funding for vital infrastructure in rural communities, including broadband, water and waste water, community facilities, and fund agricultural research that will keep American agriculture the best in the world.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the bill “emphasizes the need to make healthy food affordable and accessible by investing in food and nutrition programs like SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Progra) and, for the first time since 2012, school breakfast expansion grants. It provides increased funding for medical product and food safety activities, because public health is paramount. And it provides robust investments in animal and plant health and agricultural research, so we have the means to increase food production, stop devastating crop diseases, and ensure our food supply remains stable and secure.”