Chairman Bishop Statement to Rules Committee on Seven-Bill Appropriations Minibus

2021-07-26 17:34

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02) today delivered the following remarks to the House Rules Committee in support of an appropriate rule for the House to consider H.R. 4502, a minibus of seven fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills:

Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon Chairman McGovern and Ranking Member Cole. On behalf of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, I am proud to present our division of Minibus 1 and to discuss the important investments that we have made.

Our fiscal year 2022 allocation is $26.55 billion, which is $2.85 billion over fiscal year 2021.

The bill addresses three key priorities. First, it provides nearly $400 million in investments to ensure equitable participation in USDA programs. Second, the bill provides nearly $350 million to address the impacts of climate change. And third, it fully funds federal pay costs and it rebuilds the leadership offices at USDA that were decimated over the past several years.

Our bill fully funds domestic nutrition programs, and I’d like to highlight two vital investments. The first is $834 million to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables in the WIC food package. The second ensures that SNAP does not run out of money by providing a “such sums” appropriations for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022.

Our bill also maintains strong investments for our international nutrition programs, including $1.74 billion for Food for Peace grants and $245 million for the McGovern-Dole program.

The bill continues to make significant investments in our rural communities by providing nearly $4.7 billion in budget authority for rural development programs. This includes rural water and wastewater infrastructure improvements, support for community facilities, and, of course, broadband expansion.  

The bill once again includes the 10-20-30 anti-poverty provision for rural development programs to ensure that communities most in need are not left behind.  

The bill provides $3.4 billion for agricultural research, which helps the United States produce the most abundant and affordable food in the world and it provides more than $2.9 billion in farm and conservation programs.

The Food and Drug Administration is funded in our bill at $3.47 billion in discretionary funding. Within this total, there is an increase of $78 million to address the opioid crisis, rare cancers, and to resume unannounced, in-person inspections in the two largest foreign drug manufacturing countries in the world, that is China and India.

It also includes a $65 million increase to avoid or more quickly respond to food outbreaks and address heavy metals in baby food.

Finally, the bill funds 111 Community Project Funding requests from Members on both sides of the aisle.

I’m proud to say that the Agriculture Subcommittee is known for its bipartisanship, its cooperation, and its collaboration. And this year was no different. I’m happy to say that, once again, our bill was reported from full committee by a voice vote.

I’m also proud that we continue to have strong, bipartisan cooperation on the bill. And while the majority and the minority don’t always agree, and we do disagree on matters of policy from time to time, the agriculture, rural development, and the safety of our food and our drugs and the livability and sustainability of our ecosystems are issues that are of mutual concerns for us here in this country and across the globe, and they are bipartisan concerns. They are neither Democrat nor Republican. We truly seek to approach our work so as to collaboratively achieve the greater good for our country and for humanity.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the committee. I want to thank our leadership, both the majority and the minority of this Committee, the Appropriations Committee. I certainly want to thank my Ranking Member, Mr. Fortenberry, and all of our staff for their hard work in making this product that we’re presenting to you today.

With that, I look forward to answering any questions that you may have and I yield back.

117th Congress