May 16, 2018
The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill on a vote of 31-20.
The bill funds important agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, agricultural trade, financial marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs.
Total discretionary funding in the legislation is $23.27 billion, which is $14 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. In total, the bill allows for $145.09 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding – $922 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. The legislation prioritizes this funding for programs supporting rural communities, farmers, ranchers, food and drug safety, rural infrastructure, and nutrition for those in need. In addition, the bill contains several policy provisions to rein in unnecessary and burdensome regulations that harm U.S. food producers and that impede growth in important U.S. industries.
“This legislation supports the safety and the productivity of our nation’s food supply – providing resources that help our farmers and ranchers do their jobs, ensure healthy food is on all our tables, and promote stability and security by ensuring we can rely on U.S. food production here at home,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “It will also protect families from food insecurity, support growth in rural communities, and increase the safety of the drugs and medical devices that we all may need in our lives.”
“For far too long, Washington has looked at rural America as an expanse in between the cities and their suburbs, as opposed to the backbone of America. Yet, these are the people that raise our cattle, work in the factories that dot rural landscapes, and till the land in order to provide food for our plate. This bill today continues to fulfill the commitment President Trump made to invest in rural America. The Rural Development account in the bill contains over $620 million dollars of continued commitment to expanding rural broadband and erasing the rural digital divide. Combined with the $685 million dollars in the recently passed Omnibus, Congress is ensuring that the days of looking past rural America are over,” Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt said. “In addition, access to high-speed internet is now just as important to a high-quality of life as electricity, water, and sewer. As a country, we cannot allow large sections of our population to be cut off from the rest of the world, and therefore, be cut off from economic opportunities.”
The following amendments to the FY 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill were adopted by the full committee today:
Rep. Aderholt – The amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Lee – The amendment increases the Healthy Food Financing Initiative by $1 million. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Cole/Rep. Bishop – The amendment adds bill language to modernize the February 2007 predicate date for certain tobacco products. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-20.
Rep. Young – The amendment adds bill language to ensure that disclosure requirements related to genetically engineered salmon and finfish be made in accordance with the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Simpson/Rep. Pingree – The amendment adds bill language preventing the USDA from disallowing potatoes as part of the school breakfast program. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Newhouse/Rep. Bishop – The amendment adds bill language to protect SNAP retailers from certain invasive disclosure requirements. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Harris – The amendment adds report language to require an FDA report on adverse health events linked to attorney or lead generators advertisements, and to collaborate with the FTC to address patient safety concerns. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Newhouse – The amendment adds report language directing the Secretary of Agriculture to work with other federal agencies to establish a comprehensive online system for agriculture employers to complete the H-2A applications process. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
For a summary of the bill, please click here.
For the text of the bill, please click here.
For the bill report, please click here.