Chairwoman Lowey Floor Statement on H.R. 265, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

January 10, 2019
Press Release

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey delivered the following remarks in support of H.R. 265, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The legislation is a bipartisan bill to reopen federal agencies and ensure Americans receive their SNAP benefits in full and on time.

More than 800,000 federal employees are going without pay, many while they are still working, and the American people are being denied vital services.

Due to President Trump’s shutdown over his demands for a wasteful border wall:

  • The Food and Drug Administration cannot conduct routine inspections for food safety and has slowed evaluation of new drugs and medical products;
  • USDA is no longer able to provide farmers with loans for rural development; and
  • Approximately 40 million Americans who depend on SNAP for food assistance, including more than three million New Yorkers, have faced unnecessary fear and uncertainty about whether they are weeks away from going hungry.

House Democrats have passed bills to open the government, but the President and Senate Republicans continue to obstruct instead of working with us to get the people’s business done.

The solution to this crisis is simple: pass the bills where we can agree, and extend funding for Homeland Security for a month to allow time for negotiation on border security and immigration policy.

I hope that my colleagues across the Capitol come to their senses and stop this ridiculous Trump Shutdown. 

We can begin this bipartisan path by passing the bill before us, which passed the Senate in September by a vote of 92-6.  This bill would open the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration and adequately fund these services through the end of the fiscal year.

Sadly, to date, my Republican colleagues have followed the President’s blind lead all while jeopardizing these vital services upon which American families and businesses rely. 

Let’s pass this bill today and put USDA and the FDA back to work for the American people. 

116th Congress