June 05, 2019

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Commends Passage of FY2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Funding Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to the House Appropriations Committee’s passage of the Fiscal Year 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Funding Bill, House Appropriations Committee Member Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) issued the following statement:    

“I am pleased to see this important and progressive bill pass,” said Congresswoman Lee. “The bill touches the lives of every single person in this country, especially children, students, and mothers, in both urban and rural communities. This bill also rejects the President’s request by providing $24.3 billion in discretionary funding, a $1 billion increase over FY19 levels. 

“I am particularly proud that this bill includes an $8 million increase to the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) to a total of $10 million. I helped usher in the first programmatic funding for this program back in Fiscal Year 2017, and I am especially proud to see this substantial increase.  This vital program provides loans and grant financing to attract grocery stores and other fresh food retailers in food desert communities so that we can expand access to healthy food. 

“As the only member of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee from California, I am also pleased to see robust funding for the National Organic Program at $18 million, our Specialty Crop Pests program at $186 million, and $45 million for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE). Collectively, these programs help fund and provide critical research and education, and protect farmers and ranchers throughout our nation.

“The bill provides record increases for nutrition, including a $22 million increase for a total of $50 million for the Summer EBT program, $10 million for the School Breakfast Expansion Grants, which is the first time we will fund this program at this level since 2012, and $6 billion in discretionary funding for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). 

“Additionally, this bill includes my report language on college hunger, which will help ensure that many of our young students in higher education get the nutrition access they need and will ensure that students KNOW they are eligible for SNAP in the first place. Too often, college students who are food insecure are unaware that they qualify for SNAP.  

“Finally, the bill also includes important language on the impact of restoring access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for the formerly incarcerated. This important report will help us better understand how states who have lifted or modified the SNAP drug felony ban can best serve this population and help them access nutrition assistance.   

“I look forward to seeing this bill on the floor and passing this progressive agenda for the people.” 

Other highlights of this bill include: 

Title I—Agriculture Programs 

  • Local Agriculture Market Program: Bill includes $23.4M within AMS and RD 
  • NIFA: Includes increases for 1890 programs (Evans-Allen, 1890 Capacity Grants, 1890 Student Scholarships, and Centers of Excellence). 
  • NIFA Food and Ag Service Learning Program: Includes an additional $1M for the program’s third year of operation. 
  • Includes an increase of $30 million for the AFRI competitive research program in NIFA. 
  • Includes requested report language on greenhouse technology research within ARS. 
  • NIFA Capacity Building for Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture: Includes $5M  
  • NIFA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education: Includes $45M. 
  • NIFA Hispanic Serving Institutions Education Grants: Includes $20M for education grants, an increase of $11 million over fiscal year 2019. 
  • NIFA/ARS Alfalfa Crop Production: Includes an increase of $1M to Alfalfa Crop Research within ARS and an increase of $2M within NIFA. 
  • NIFA Food Safety Outreach and Education: Includes $10M, an increase of $2M over fiscal year 2019. 
  • NIFA Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative: Includes $8M, the same level as fiscal year 2019. 
  • ARS U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative: Includes an increase of $2M to this ongoing research program. 
  • National Organic Program: Includes $18M 
  • Organic Production Market and Data Initiatives: Provides $0.5M since the program also has mandatory funds from the Farm Bill 
  • Wildlife Services:  Provides $128.6M 
  • Specialty Crop Pests Program: Provides $186.5M 
  • Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Program: Provides $32.3M  
  • Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP):  Provides $61M  
  • Huanglongbing (HLB) Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group: Provides $8.5M  
  • APHIS Emergency Management:  Provides $41.4M  
  • Animal Health: Provides $352.6M 
  • Horse Protection: Provides $1M 
  • Market Protection and Promotion Programs: Provides $182.9M with $16.5M is for the Hemp Production Program. 
  • Shell Egg Surveillance and Standardization:  Provides $7.7M 

Title II—Farm Production and Conservation Programs 

  • Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production: Includes $5 million.  
  • Urban Agriculture Data Collection: report language included that directs USDA to collect urban agriculture in the next agriculture census (2022).   

Title III—Rural Development Programs 

  • Includes $10M for the HFFI program  
  • Water Well Grant systems:  Includes $15M for water well grant programs  
  • Sec 502 Direct Loans: Includes $1B for Sec 502 direct loans for low-income borrowers  

Title IV—Domestic Food Programs 

  • WIC Farmers Market: Bill includes $18.5M, 
  • WIC: Bill includes $6 Billion, which covers estimated participation in FY 2020.  
  • SNAP Reserve: Increased by $2 Billion. (Total funding = $5B) 
  • School Breakfast Expansion Grants: Bill includes $10M. First time since FY 2012 that this program has been funded. 
  • Summer EBT: $50M  
  • TEFAP Commodities: Bill includes $320.7M  
  • School Kitchen Equipment Grants: Bill includes $35M  
  • School Kitchen Equipment Grants lower minimum: Bill language included/maintained to keep that value at greater than $1,000.  
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): The bill provides an increase of $22.1M to meet estimated caseloads in FY 2020. (Total funding = $245M)