McCollum on Subcommittee Passage of FY 21 Agriculture-Rural Development-Food and Drug Administration Funding Bill
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture-Rural Development-Food and Drug Administration, today voted to approve the subcommittee’s FY 2021 funding bill, which will be considered by the full Appropriations Committee on July 9.
The bill provides $23.98 billion – an increase of $487 million above the 2020 enacted level – to invest in important agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development, farm services, agricultural trade, financial marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs, both domestic and international.
The bill includes provisions important to Minnesotans and the American people:
- USDA/Forest Service Study – The bill includes McCollum’s language requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to submit to the Committee documents the Department cited as the basis for its decision to cancel the Forest Service application for the Rainy River Watershed Withdrawal in Minnesota, as well as making the documents publicly available online.
- Personal Care Product and Cosmetic Safety – The bill includes McCollum’s report language providing $1 million to FDA’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to partner with community-based organizations to educate the public on the dangers of illegal skin-lightening cosmetics, which contain dangerous levels of mercury and hydroquinone.
- Food Assistance – The bill provides for:
- $68.277 billion in required mandatory spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help families put food on the table. It also includes $5.75 billion for WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), and $25.131 billion for child nutrition programs.
- $3 million to support a Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) Demonstration Project to allow tribal organizations to enter into self-determination contracts, promoting tribal sovereignty and helping meet specific tribal and cultural needs.
- Mississippi River Restoration – The bill includes McCollum’s report language encouraging the Department of Agriculture to participate and coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency on developing a Mississippi River restoration and resiliency strategy focused on improving water quality, restoring habitat and natural systems, improved navigation, eliminating aquatic invasive species, and building local resilience to natural disasters.
- Agricultural Research – The bill provides $3.3 billion – $90 million above the FY 20 level – for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
- Food Safety and Inspection Service – The legislation includes $1.087 billion for food safety and inspection programs. These mandatory inspection activities help ensure the safety and productivity of the country’s meat and poultry industry, and keep safe, healthy food on American tables.
- Conservation Programs – The bill provides $1 billion to help farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners conserve and protect their land.
- Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) –The bill includes report language providing funds for surveillance, research, and indemnification for the removal of cervid herds where CWD has been found. Funding is also provided to help speed up the development of live test for CWD that would greatly reduce the need for indemnity.
“The FY 21 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA funding bill makes important investments in programs that affect Americans’ day-to-day lives – from ensuring the quality of the food on our table to the safety of the essential drugs and medicines we depend on every day,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “This bill is also important for the development of our rural communities and farmers, and invests in research and conservation programs to ensure the long-term health of our crops and our environment.”
“The bill contains language I authored that will force the Secretary of Agriculture to provide the American people with the taxpayer-funded USDA data and study on the environmental impacts of sulfide-ore copper mining on the Rainy River watershed in northern Minnesota. This will be essential to ensuring science-based decision-making and the protection of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
“Overall, this funding bill prioritizes public health by investing in nutrition assistance, food safety, and more, and I’m glad to see it move to the full House Appropriations Committee for consideration.”
The text of the bill is here.
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