House advances $24B agriculture bill

House advances $24B agriculture bill
© Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday advanced a $24.3 billion agriculture spending bill, readying the measure for a floor vote later this month.

The bill, which passed 29-21 along party lines, rejected President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE’s request to slash the budget by 15 percent, instead opting to add $1 billion to current discretionary spending levels.  

“I am proud our bill invests in America’s fundamental needs and rejects the Administration’s requests for drastic cuts,” said Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture. 

When mandatory spending is included, the bill covers a broader $155.3 billion in spending, though the mandatory spending would happen regardless of its inclusion in the bill. That amount is $3.2 billion higher than current levels.

“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,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid MORE (D-N.Y.), referring to the Food and Drug Administration.

Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerLobbying world House approves bill increasing federal worker pay House approves 3 billion spending package MORE (Texas), the committee’s top Republican, said the bill’s spending level was too high.

“I do not support this bill as currently drafted and will work with my colleagues to improve this legislation as it moves through the appropriations process so that it reflects more reasonable funding levels,” she said.

The committee voted down an amendment sponsored by Rep. Robert AderholtRobert Brown AderholtHouse advances B agriculture bill Dems advance bill defying Trump State Department cuts Maryland raises legal tobacco purchasing age to 21 MORE (R-Ala.) that would increase the legal age to buy tobacco to 21. Democrats said they support the idea, but said the problem needed to go through authorizing committees, not an appropriations bill.