House advances $24B agriculture bill
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 Trump’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 Lowey (D-N.Y.), referring to the Food and Drug Administration.
Rep. Kay Granger (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 Aderholt (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.