Chairwoman Lowey Statement at Full Committee Markup of FY 2020 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA Funding Bill

2019-06-04 12:37

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill:

I would now like to recognize myself for opening remarks.

I thank Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Fortenberry for their work on this bill and thank the staff for their efforts.

The Fiscal Year 2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill rejects the President’s misguided budget and instead invests in important initiatives for the people.  The bill would reduce hunger at home and abroad, support rural development and our farmers, and ensure the FDA is properly funded to meet the growing needs of regulating our food, medicines, and more.

Nearly one in five children in America is food insecure.  These children are statistically likely to have lower academic achievement.  We invest in nutrition and meal programs not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because the success of our economy demands it.  If we want to educate our children, have a productive workforce, and continue to lead in the 21st century, we must firmly address hunger today. 

While the President proposed eliminating the Summer EBT program, which provides meals for children after the school day and in the summer, this bill would provide a record $50 million for this initiative. 

The bill would also assist communities working to address food insecurity and improve nutrition.  While the President zeroed out WIC farmers market nutrition programs, the commodity supplemental food program, and school kitchen equipment grants, this bill would robustly fund these priorities. 

The bill also rejects the President’s effort to eliminate international food aid, and instead would provide increases both for McGovern-Dole and Food for Peace.

For FDA, the bill includes an increase of $185 million.  I am particularly proud that it carries language urging FDA to expedite pre-market review of e-cigarettes, establish a national track and trace system on tobacco products, and expand The Real Cost advertising campaign to warn of dangers of nicotine addiction.  The bill is also notable for what it does not contain – any political interference on FDA’s ability to do its job.

I urge support.



116th Congress