Senate invokes cloture on ag approps bill as Stabenow files urban ag amendment

The Senate on Tuesday voted 85-12 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Calendar No. 198, H.R. 4366, the vehicle for the minibus of three fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills — Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, the military constructions and Veterans Affairs and the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development bill.

The Senate will convene at noon today to resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R.4366, vehicle for the minibus post-cloture.

Meanwhile, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., filed an amendment to restore $8.5 million in funding for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production to the Senate’s Agriculture appropriations bill.

Neither the Senate nor House Agriculture appropriations bills included dedicated funding for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, Stabenow noted in a news release.

“Urban agriculture is growing in cities and towns across the country, creating new economic opportunities and healthier communities,” said Stabenow. “In addition to administering popular grant programs, the office has been integral in efforts to improve access for urban and innovative producers to programs like new Urban Service Centers around the country and a new Federal Crop Insurance program for greenhouse producers. We have made so much progress and there is still so much to do. Restoring this funding in the appropriations bill will ensure that urban agriculture can continue to grow and thrive as an emerging sector of the industry.”

Stabenow also noted that she had led the effort in the 2018 farm bill to establish the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production and that the office has made more than $50 million in more than 230 grants and cooperative agreements across the country to support urban agriculture.

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