Appropriations Subcommittee Approves Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA Funding Bill
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies today approved by voice vote its fiscal year 2022 bill.
For fiscal year 2022, the bill provides funding of $26.55 billion – a critical increase of $2.851 billion, more than 10 percent – above 2021. In total, the bill includes $196.7 billion for both discretionary programs funded on an annual basis and mandatory programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The legislation:
- Tackles hunger and nutrition insecurity by expanding access to fruits and vegetables to 6.4 million people through WIC and ensuring 45 million people in SNAP-eligible families get the benefits they need. The bill also invests in the health of America’s kids through Child Nutrition programs, like school meals - which are now the healthiest source of food consumed in the United States.
- Grows opportunity and lifts up rural communities by increasing funding for rural broadband, connecting more communities to the internet through a program that last year got more than 100,000 people connected to the 21st century economy.
- Rebuilds our public health and consumer safety infrastructure with increased funding to address maternal and infant nutrition, including resources for the ‘Closer to Zero’ initiative to reduce exposure to toxic elements in babies’ and young children’s food, emerging food-related chemical and toxicological issues, drug safety oversight, as well as providing additional resources for inspections, and drug and device supply chain monitoring and surveillance. The bill also invests in our public health infrastructure by modernizing FDA’s data infrastructure to better ensure the safety and security of the food and medical supply chain.
- Confronts the climate crisis with $347.4 million across USDA to address the impacts of climate change. These investments are aimed to tackle the climate crisis in farming and rural communities and include research to monitor, measure, and mitigate climate change, accelerate climate smart agriculture practices, reduce greenhouse gases, and advance clean energy technologies.
- Provides important investments to ensure equitable participation in USDA programs. In total, the bill provides more funding than the request to advance racial justice, including increases for extension, research, and capacity grants at our 1890 land grants, 1994 land grants, and Hispanic serving institutions to help strengthen the pipeline for the future of agriculture. It also provides funding to improve outreach and program access to historically underserved communities and provides a healthy increase for USDA’s Office of Civil Rights above the request.
The bill next heads to the full Committee for markup.
“Rural communities are the backbone of America and the programs in this bill impact every American, no matter where they live. Today, we are ensuring that families have healthy meals to put on the table and that our food and medicine is safe. This bill also invests in farmers – from research and conservation efforts to making sure that the fruits of their labor reach markets across the country and around the globe – which is vital to our country’s economy. It also strengthens our commitment to rural development, funding critical infrastructure projects as well as housing assistance, so that America’s heartland continues to grow to meet the needs of our nation,” Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA-02) said. “Our bill increases the Food and Drug Administration’s funding by $257 million over last year’s level which will improve safety efforts and accelerate medical advancements. It truly takes care of us all and will fully fund child nutrition programs, continue our investment in the ReConnect program for rural broadband which has created thousands of jobs, improve USDA outreach to historically underserved communities, and make sure that our rural and farming communities have the resources they need to help address the climate crisis.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic did not spare our nation’s food system, it pulled back the curtain on the food and nutrition crisis that continues to plague our nation,” Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) said. “Hunger skyrocketed among families with children and farmers faced severe supply chain disruptions that shut down their markets and threatened their livelihoods. The over 10 percent funding increase in this bill will build resiliency in the food system by investing in family farmers and connecting them to local and regional markets. Investments in SNAP, WIC, and child nutrition programs will strengthen our safety net against hunger and promote health and nutrition security. The bill also advances agricultural research and regenerative agriculture practices, positioning America’s farmers and ranchers as a key solution to the climate crisis. The bill also prioritizes new initiatives at the Food and Drug Administration that will make food safer by strengthening our response to foodborne illness outbreaks and reducing heavy metals in baby foods.”
A summary of the bill is here. The text of the draft bill is here. In keeping with the Appropriations Committee’s commitment to transparency, information on Community Project Funding in the bill is here.