Chairman Bishop Floor Remarks on Seven-Bill Appropriations Minibus

2021-07-27 15:52

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 4502, a minibus of seven fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills:

I rise in support of H.R. 4502. As Chair of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug, and Related Agencies subcommittee I am pleased to highlight the national priorities that are funded in our division. 

First, I would like to thank our distinguished Ranking Member, Mr. Fortenberry, and the entire subcommittee for their continued bipartisan cooperation. The jurisdiction of our bill is far-reaching and touches the lives of every citizen. And while we may disagree on matters of policy from time to time, the agriculture, rural development, and the safety of our food and drugs and the livability and sustainability of our ecosystems here and across the globe are indeed bipartisan concerns. And we truly approach our work collaboratively and achieve the greater good for our country and humanity.

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, ensuring equitable participation in USDA programs. Second, addressing the impacts of climate change. Third, reinvesting in staff and leadership offices at USDA.

The bill provides $4.7 billion for Rural Development initiatives, including more than $900 million for broadband expansion to provide economic development opportunities and improved education and healthcare services in rural communities.  The bill continues important funding for the Community Facilities Program that supports everything from libraries and fire stations to child care centers and nursing homes.

The bill provides $2.9 billion in farm and conservation programs, $3.4 billion for agricultural research including a significant increase for the 1890 land-grant institutions, and $1.74 billion for Food for Peace grants and $245 million for the McGovern-Dole program to use our agriculture commodities in support of our nation’s diplomacy.

Food insecurity continues to hurt millions of Americans. Our bill fully funds the SNAP, WIC, and Child Nutrition programs, and helps increase access to healthy, nutritious food.

The Food and Drug Administration is funded at $3.47 billion in discretionary funding, with increases that help combat the opioid crisis, rare cancers, foodborne outbreaks, and heavy metals in baby food.   

I want to thank my personal staff, Michael Reed, Tynesha Boomer, and Danny Giddings, and the subcommittee staff, Martha Foley, Diem-Linh Jones, Perry Yates, Joe Layman, Randy Staples, Justin Masucci and Echo Domingues for their hard work on the bill. I also would like thank Tom O’Brien from the subcommittee’s minority staff. And of course, I thank Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger for their tremendous leadership.

I’d like to give a special shout out to Michael Reed who is retiring as my Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor for Appropriations after 18 years of extraordinary service. We thank him mightily for his service, for his monumental contributions to Georgia’s second district, and we wish him well as he enters the next chapter of his life.

I am proud of this division and the entire bill, and I urge my colleagues to support it. It’s a good bill. It’s good for America.

I thank you and I yield back.

117th Congress