House advances $24B agriculture bill

House advances $24B agriculture bill
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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 TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates 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 LoweyCongress unlikely to reach deal on Trump border bill before break House Dems at odds with Senate in .5 billion border bill House Democrats close to finalizing border aid bill MORE (D-N.Y.), referring to the Food and Drug Administration.

Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerDemocrats take aim at Trump policies by passing T spending package Congressional leaders, White House officials to meet Wednesday on spending Democrats set stage for next shutdown fight with wall-free spending bill 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.