Granger Remarks at Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration FY22 Subcommittee Markup

Jun 25, 2021

Chairman Bishop, thank you for presenting the fiscal year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. 

I also want to recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee, Mr. Fortenberry. 

I know both of you have worked together to fund priorities of Members on both sides of the aisle.

While this bill funds many important programs, it is based on a funding framework that does not have bipartisan support.   

To put it simply, the increases proposed for non-defense bills like this one are just too high. 

At the same time, the funding for our nation’s defense is too low to meet the security challenges we face worldwide.

If we want to fund the good things contained in this bill, we must work together to develop spending levels both sides can support. We also need to agree to leave out controversial provisions. 

I have a few examples that I hope will be carefully reviewed as this particular bill moves through the process. 

The bill essentially grants the Administration unlimited spending authority for a nutrition program that was already dramatically expanded during the pandemic. 

At a time when our nation’s spending is at an all-time high, we should be finding ways to rein in spending rather than write a blank check.

In addition, if there is one thing we know from the events of the last year, it is that we are too reliant on imported medical products. 

The FDA must help to create a regulatory environment where manufacturers of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals come back to the United States.   

Some of the statistics are truly alarming. For example,

  • 74 percent of the plants that manufacture drug ingredients are overseas, and
  • 54 percent of the plants that manufacture finished drugs are also overseas. 

Nearly 20 percent of these facilities have not been inspected at all in the last 5 years. This is an unacceptable national security and public health risk.

While I am encouraged that the bill includes funds for unannounced inspections of drug manufacturing plants around the world, more must be done.

In closing, it is our responsibility on this committee to develop appropriations bills with bipartisan support that can get signed into law.

We cannot allow an important bill like this one that supports our farmers and ranchers, expands internet coverage into rural areas, and ensures that our drugs are safe and effective to be delayed.

Our disagreements can be easily resolved if we commit to addressing them now, but time is of the essence. The end of the fiscal year will be here in less than 100 days. 

Mr. Chairman, I look forward to continuing to work with you and Chair DeLauro to address these concerns as this process moves forward. 

Thank you. I yield back.