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tv   House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee Debates FY2021 Appropriations...  CSPAN  July 6, 2020 6:08pm-6:49pm EDT

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national security and that we can all support. i thank the chair for including military financing for our great ally, israel, and our steadfast support for their security. i am also pleased the bill maintains funding for embassy security. the attacks on our embassy in baghdad were a stark reminder of how we must do everything we can to support the safety of our foreign service officers working abroad. in addition, i appreciate the chair continuing funding to combat the flow of drugs and to tackle transnational crime overseas. these efforts go hand-in-hand with the work we do here at home and the relentless fight against drug abuse --
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will come tomittee order. let me say good evening and i hope everyone is safe and has safe travels. the fourth is the chairman's mark for the fiscal year 2021 agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration and related agencies appropriations subcommittee bill. the bill and its accompanying report are products of a lot of hard work that has then done in the face of much uncertainty and extremely unusual working conditions. let me take a moment to express my gratitude for the friendship and cooperation of the ranking member of the subcommittee. as well as the minority staff. this bill touches the lives of every american and brings into focus many diverse issues. while we may not see i to eye on
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everything, i appreciate the ranking members devotion to establishing and maintaining a healthy dialogue that makes this process so much easier. because of that, we've developed a great bill that will make life better for millions of americans. i would also like to express my great admiration for our to thisan's dedication committee and the american people. it is impossible to sum up my appreciation for everything you have done, but it has been a tremendous pleasure working with you over the years and i so much appreciate the example you and ranking member granger exemplify on how members from different sides of the aisle can work together through differences to arrive at a consensus on behalf of the american people. so thank you so much for your
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service. before we all started working we had six hearings, including hearings with the secretary of agriculture and the food and drug administration commissioner. we received more than 9000 member requests, a large increase over last year. vastre able to fund the majority of member requests on both sides of the aisle. our fiscal year 2021 allocation 23.198 million dollars, 2% over the act did level and more than $4.1 billion above the budget request. i have maintained a steadfast commitment to our rural communities. to that extent, the bill 1.7 $5 billion for rural broadband expansion, including $990 million for the reconnect program, an increase
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of 435 million dollars, or 78%. in total, the bill provides more than $3.2 billion in budget authority for rural development programs to fund critical infrastructure such as water and wastewater systems and rural housing needs. the bill provides $2.8 billion for four-man conservation programs. this includes $5 million for ownership in succession of farm bill issues, known as air property issues which predominately effects black farmers and has led to the loss of millions of acres of privately held farmland. provides three point $3 billion for agricultural research, including an increase of 29.5 million dollars for programs that support the land grant institutions. the bill rejects the proposed elimination of the food for peace program and provides
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increases for them totaling 65 million dollars. i might add this is bipartisan. the bill fully funds the snap, child nutrition, and wic programs for participation in fy 2021 and blocks to unconscionable snap rules for able-bodied adults without dependents and the standard utility allowance proposed rule designed to restrict programs eligibility's. the bill continues to fund smaller nutrition programs at good levels. the summer ebt program is funded 15 millionion, a dollar increase. food and drug administration, increased funding is dedicated to new initiatives that would advance influenza vaccine technologies,
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advance medical technology and the nation's food supply and certainly emphasize covid-19. i ask for your support of this bill. it is a good bill. i want to thank my personal subcommittee staff -- for their hard work on the bill. certainly, we want to thank the cooperation we have received from the minority staff very much. at this time, i would like to yield to our distinguished ranking member for whatever opening statements or remarks he may care to make. chairman for mr. your kind remarks. it is an authentic and true pleasure to work with you. agriculture in so many ways transcends divides. it is ultimately about food and
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the interdependence of community. before i begin with any further remarks, i have some good news and harder news. the good news is back home this weekend, i was in proximity to corn about a had high, so the crop looks really good. is this is mys anniversary and i'm spending it with you. [laughter] >> >> [inaudible] cattleend to feed our but maybe i can get some back here edible for human consumption. sincerely, mr. chairman, thank you for your bipartisan spirit. most people in that committee, you have your own areas of specialty and lanes of expertise come but the chairman and i are in constant commute occasion about needs that arise and problems that come up and we
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have a good, cooperative relationship experience and relationship especially as you mentioned our staff. i want to commend martha foley for her leadership and tom o'brien on our side for constructing this very important measure. it's important we try to work constructively through any problems that arise. mr. chairman, our decisions here will affect the lives of every american every day from every walk of life and across communities across our country. i would like to highlight three important things -- food security, rural broadband, and our drug supply. we are fortunate number of programs in this bill were able to adapt to the tectonic changes that have been cast upon us by the covid-19 pandemic. after theeeks president declared a national health emergency, we all work in a bipartisan spirit to pass the
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cares act. this provided direct support for farmers and ranchers and much needed additional help for our food banks across the country. mr. chairman, i've had some interaction with one of the food pantries locally and the people who come there, it's usually a group of people who have a particular need because they are in a food insecure position. it is handled in a matter very dignified and i am grateful for that. during the midst of the pandemic, i went to another site, it was a quarter-mile mile long of cars driven by people who just need a little extra help to get by. told are people, as i was by one of the directors of the food bank, these are people who used to volunteer to help and now they are there to receive help. the tremendous suffering caused by the pandemic manifests itself
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first in food insecurity but our entire congress has worked to meet those needs. hows very rewarding to see our local communities can work with the federal response building upon this bill to support those who have endured tremendous suffering. second, the bill demonstrates the commitment to vital needs of rural communities and you pointed out a really big one -- the support for rural fraud band. i'm grateful for that. we have all talked about the need for a digital leap and we are seeing it happen right before our eyes. we have funded it and we are seeing it happen -- telework, tell education, telehealth are all here to stay. some of the work laid down by this committee in terms of advancing the cause of establishing rural broadband will help empower americans as we begin to rethink what i call the ecosystem of livability that
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has particular meaning in rural communities. challenged by a few things. in columbus, nebraska, a town of about 25,000 people, when a mother has to bring their child to the parking lot of a school to try to access the broadband connection, we've still got work to do. about 30% of americans are either underserved or not served at all. this jump you have led that i support is going to be very important for the 21st century architecture of how america lives and works and educates ourselves and seeks health care. i looknt to point out forward to continuing to work with committee to figure out how we not simply have a hard definition of what is rural what is rural in character. there are areas that are underserved that may not fit the hard definitions but would fit the mission and spirit of the bill. chairman, i want to focus on
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third and lastly, the increase of imported drugs and drug ingredients from countries that do not share our commitment to transparency, quality, and protection of labor standards. approximately 80% of active pharmaceutical agreement manufacturers -- ingredient manufacturers are located outside the united states. the covid-19 crisis has taught security and public health issues. while the fda is only part of the solution, it is an important one, ensuring our drugs are held to the same accountability and standards as here at home, so i appreciate some of the changes we were able to make together. i could expand on a number of positive aspects and i do feel obliged to address several areas of concern, as ranking member granger has noted in other bills, the bill is partially financed with funds not agreed to by the budget agreement we
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were party to less than a year ago. there are several controversial policy writers we believe are asked handled by the authorizing committees. as we further deliberate on these issues in the very near future, it's my preference and i think although good in this will, to continue with a normal bipartisan conversations, which is the nature of agriculture and likely avoid a veto threat by the president. with that, i look forward to working with you to approve this and pass it into law. thank you very much. >> iq. like totime, i would recognize the distinguished gentlelady from new york, the chairwoman of this appropriation committee for any remarks she may care to give. be her lastrhaps subcommittee, agriculture
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subcommittee markup in her distinguished career. wantrecognize her, i just to take note of that fact. us somesk her to give good parting words of wisdom. grateful to you, my good friend, chairman bishop for as wellk on this bill andhe efforts of the staff the really important work and tomwork that has been done provide such a good bill for all of us. speech -- ig, long don't think you all had the opportunity to listen to it, but i'm not going to repeat it. i just want to say to you, mr. chairman, ranking member, to all has been ans, it
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honor for me to serve. the friendships, the work that we do together has so much meaning to make life better for semi people in this country. so i will be keeping in touch with you because you are a dear friend and i appreciate your kind words. so, i want to thank chairman bishop and ranking member thorton barry for your work on this bill. staff, what a great job you have done in reviewing member requests. this is really a good product before us. a survey of mothers with children under the age of 12 found more than 40%, 40% have faced food insecurity since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.
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up from 15% just two years ago. and at a time when hunger is growing, the food supply is more threat, and more and americans are falling into poverty. this bill is so important effectivelyesponds to meet the needs of snap and wick to ensure the most vulnerable have access to nutritious meals. it reduces hunger by increasing funding for the summer ebt ingram, increase investments the child nutrition program by $1.5 billion. and it will give fda a much needed 41 million dollar boost so that it can continue to day,w treatment and one
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vaccines for covid-19. sooner, i hope, then later, as well as ensure the safety of the food we eat and medicines and medical devices that save lives. so again, it has been a pleasure working with you. moving thisrd to bill through the appropriations process. and what is really special -- i know i say this at all the meetings at appropriation, we really do work together. democratsay there are , republicans, and appropriators . sometimes we have our differences, but we usually work them out because we've got to get our work done. again, i thank you for your iadership, mr. chairman, and look forward to continuing to work together till the end of the year. thank you very much.
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much, madamevery chairman. pleased toe, i'm recognize ranking member granger of the full committee who has worked hand in hand with a chairwoman to make sure the responsibilities of this committee are discharged in a way we can all be proud of. i would like to recogn you for presenting this i want toyear 2020, recognize -- i'm having a serious problem with my mask. work ofo recognize the the ranking member of the subcommittee. he represents well what we are trying to do. -- will have a very
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direct impact on all americans, particularly right now. you can't turn on the television without hearing really sad stories of people who don't have the food and often times look to the schools. they got sometimes three meals a day. this virus has shown us the importance of programs funded by the subcommittee and how important it is. support has continued for our farmers and ranchers, which is a lifeline for them after so many years of economic challenges. we hear so much about businesses and are they going to make it through? bill continues the strong focus on internet coverage expanding into rural areas, previous investments have been critical and need access to more essential services such as
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telemedicine and educational classes. i know we are all watching to see what our schools are going what i saidback to before -- often times, that was three meals a day for the students who went to school there and it's all communities. i know the bill ensures we have safe and effective drugs, including those that are imported. we realize we must do more to bring the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals back into the the united states. of the supply chain is out of the united states, especially china. large quantities of protective gear intended to be shipped to the united states, face masks, test masks -- tests, and other equipment was blocked from
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export by the chinese government. i hope this is an issue we can work on together. i'm concerned about several controversial writers in the bill. ders in the bill. the bill also addresses several policies best addressed in authorizing legislation not an annual appropriations bill. i'm concerned about the provision to allow for increased spending i designating funds for veteran health care not consistent with the budget agreement put in place last year. so i hope we will work together as appropriators always have and done it so successfully so the bills can be agreed upon. and avoid controversial legislative language. this is the only way to get ills through the house and signed into law. in general, i would like to thank my staff as well as the majority's staff for their hard work on
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chair bishop: thank you very much, misses granger. at this time, i would like to open it for any members that may wish to be recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you to all of my colleagues. it is really wonderful to see you. you don't realize how critically important it is to see your colleagues, to be with them. circumstances have kept us apart and i think that is sad but i am so glad we are on the field and we are here and the american people know that they well andress is trying to do good for all of them. i say a thank you you to you chairman bishop. to my good friend, nita lowey,
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she extolled to me the wonders of the agriculture subcommittee when i was first thinking about getting on the committee. and we have been longtime and fast friends and confidantes for 30 years. you will be sorely missed, my friend. i love you. i want to just say the ranking members, congress member fortenberry and kay granger. thank you for the great work you demonstrate all the time in supporting the hard work of our farmers and the safety of consumers. i have the honor of chairing the subcommittee a number of years ago and i know firsthand the amount of work it takes to put into it. we do face a health care crisis, an economic crisis that exposed serious disparities in our system. and the pandemic has further
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demonstrated how many people live on the knife's edge. i strongly believe we must be doing more and not less. the 2021 bill is recommending an increase of $487 million, over $24 billion. it builds on the work that was done in the emergency response bills for our nations farmers, families, front-line food workers. the pandemic has pinpointed where the social safety net is not as strong as we believed it to be. ourtrong as our families, farmers and our food workers needed to be. is makingd this bill both short-term and long-term investments. areas of strength -- it's been mentioned, the bill addresses the scourge of hunger in our country. we are a nation of abundance. we have food in the united
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states of america. no one should go to bed hungry at night. what the census bureau recently conducted, they had this household pulls survey that gathers household information and they have done that during the pandemic. they have found households with children were more likely to report permanent loss of employment and food shortages since the start of the pandemic. haveo, as all of us have, been to the total school in east haven and in davenport. the food distribution. you watched people lined up in cars coming through to pick up food for their families. coming down from the senior center to get that bag of food to take up there. it is so critically necessary what we have done. along with providing necessary funding for the foodstamp program. ill women and children, the b includes language to really
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block implementation of rules that threaten benefits for hundreds of thousands of people. i want to remind my colleagues that the food spending is a powerful anti-recession tool. it has previously been estimated for each dollar spent for benefits, $1.70 is generated in economic activity. the bill takes action to ensure the safety of our nation's food supply as well as to help the workers who produce that food. workers on the front line of our food supply chain. and processing, meat poultry plant employees and farmworkers. they play an essential role in the availability of food. we hear over and over again we would not have the supply of food if they were not there. i thank the chairman for his leadership on including language to prevent the usda from granting waivers to corporate meatpackers as well as the inclusion of language that encourage the usda to prioritize
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financial assistance to employers and farmworkers who can show that they are complying with the center for disease control and prevention guidelines. we must push for leadership and accountability. i do have to mention this -- recently, the fda commissioner refused to refute the president's false claim about the severity of the virus, as has been reported by the boston globe. the world health organization has said 20% of those diagnosed with covid-19 progress to severe disease, including pneumonia and respiratory failure. but, the president said 99% of the cases were "totally harmless." commissioner on this false claim, but the commissioner said, i am not going to get into who is right and who is wrong. but that is the mission of the fda. as the public's primary
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regulatory agency for public health. the mandate of the agency is to distinguish between right and wrong, especially as it relates to misleading claims about this virus. so, yes, as we invest in the fda's mission, i look forward to working with all of you on the subcommittee and the full committee to make sure that the agency provides the most accurate information to the public because that saves lives. finally, i'm proud of the $2 billion in international funding provided by this bill. the pandemic has increased hardship around the globe and i believe we have an obligation to lend a helping hand. the bill includes $1.7 billion for the food for peac e grant. and provides $1 million in funding for the international agriculture education fellowship program. i close by saying a thank you to the leadership for continuing to
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be taking the long-term and the near-term actions necessary to protect the public for food security, food safety, worker safety. that is what the social safety net is for, to assist members of our community in their time of need. no one should fall through the cracks. no one need suffer. i thank the gentleman and yield back. chair bishop: i'm happy to recognize the gentleman from alabama, the former chairman of the subcommittee, for whatever remarks he may care to read. >> thank you. i will be very brief. i just wanted to say i was very happy to see the work that you and ranking member fortenberry have worked on this bill. there's a lot of good things in this bill. i do want to mention the $990 million for the reconnect program. when i had the privilege to chair this subcommittee is when
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we first set up this program. because of the need for rural rurala and the need for broadband. from covid-19, one thing that has come out of this is to see the real need for rural broadband in rural america. so many children before, it was a nice thing to have, but now it has become one of those things where if our kids don't have it, access to broadband, they are falling behind in school because there is no alternative. i just want to say i appreciate millionk on this $990 additional money for the reconnect program. and this will be something that will really help with the covid-19 in trying to make sure all of our children are educated across the board.
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go, buta long way to this is certainly a great program and it goes in the right direction. so, thank you for that and i look forward to working with you as we continue on with this legislation. chair bishop: thank you. is there any member who would like to -- i'm happy to recognize you for whatever remarks you care to make. >> thank you, chairman bishop. to you and the ranking member, thank you for the good work you have done on this bill. it is a pleasure to have our two female leaders of the appropriations committee here with us tonight. i'm sure there will be many times accolades for the retiring chair, but i want to add my thank you and hope you can do that many more times during this two week process. so much of what we have done has already been discussed and i appreciate everyone's thorough discussion. i want to emphasize a couple of things. i'm so pleased on both sides of the aisle, most of us pretty
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much start our conversation about broadband because there is not a state in the country, whether you are urban or rural, that has not really seen the challenges particulate during the coronavirus. whether it is about the schools and making sure our kids are connected, or as we found so many people that work from home and have needed to have access to it. coming from a state that has been 49th in speed and 49th in accessibility, we needed as much as everybody else. i don't think we could do enough and it is great to see there is funding. i want to mention a couple of things. what really struck me from the agriculture perspective during this coronavirus is the huge holes and huge problems we have seen in our food chain. we talk about it all the time. it is the first time consumers have really been on the front lines of going to the supermarket and saying where is the food? and then turning on the television at the farmers plowing under vegetables because we didn't have capacity cap of slaughterhouse.
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it has been a great opportunity in my state for local and regional farms, many of whom are really seeing a boom, but we need a lot more capacity to do that. i want to mention a couple of things in the bill. i'm pleased we have increased funding for the local and regional food systems in the bill because that is one way to support our farmers in that process. funding for the foodways to liaison. we have seen a lot of this and we need to find better ways to make sure the food that gets wasted gets to all the hungry people we are talking about, each and every one of us. i'm pleased about the change in of snap rules, or blocking what i think would be harmful policies, particularly in my state where people are dependent on this. the, the line speed that representative mentioned. i'm worried about safety in slaughter houses and the important workers there. looking into the future, i'm
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pleased there is increased funding for agricultural research which has an emphasis on improving soil health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. this is not the time we are focusing on soil health and so il, carbon sequestration in the soil, but it's not going to go away. climate change is the next big issue we have to deal with so i am pleased there is funding in language in here. with that, i think everyone who has worked hard on this bill and look forward to going to work on it. chair bishop: is there any other member that would like to be recognized? miss mccollum. mccollum: i would like to thank the chair in the ranking member fraud the hard work you have did putting the bill together. and being accommodating to all of these members as we get used to this social distancing. this has been quite the undertaking. the coronavirus pandemic has also exposed and exacerbated
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many inequalities in our country, from food insecurity, broadband, access to basic worker protections. this bill makes critical investments to address these and other inequities to address families during these difficult times. guaranteeing access to healthy food and strengthening rural broadband so students do not fall behind in school. the important role of making sure essential workers are not exposed to covid-19 and they are not bringing the virus home to their families. i grew up in a meatpacking town. st. paul, minnesota. i know firsthand from the men and women who worked down there who made it possible for me to get access to a public education. the importance of their work and how dangerous the work that they do. grocery along with the store workers, they are frontline, they are heroes. quite often, i think sometimes
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they feel a little forgotten. so thank you, mr. chair, for addressing their safety and their needs for them and their families. i was also pleased to see the subcommittee included some bill language requiring the secretary to submit documents to the fda. an abrupt decision to cancel the service application for the rainy river watershed withdrawal in minnesota, as well as making those documents available online and publicly available. taxpayers pay for them. they have the right to see those documents. i would like to thank the chair and the ranking member and their staff are all of their work, and for working with my staff and others to have better accountability for cosmetics and other personal products that we apply directly to the largest organ on our body, our skin. once again, thank you for all the work you have done to bring us here and for all those that
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helped bring us here safely. i urge members to support this bill. mr. chair, i yield back. chair bishop: thank you. to beny other member need recognized to make remarks? anyot, i'd like to ask if member has an amendment they would like to offer? i'd like to, recognize the vice chairman for a motion. >> thank you. i move that the bill be favorably reported to the full committee. chair bishop: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed to say no. it appears that the ayes have it. the ayes do have it and the motion is agreed to. at this time, i would like to ask unanimous consent that the
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staff be allowed to perform changes to the bill to the measure that was just approved. as a reminder to the members, please leave all copies of the bill and the report in the room. time,t objection, at this i believe we have completed our business. i would like to declare this meeting adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> tomorrow on the c-span networks, join us at 10:30 a.m. eastern as fbi director christopher wray discusses china's influence in the united states. he will speak turning event hosted by the hudson institute on c-span. a house financial services subcommittee hearing on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on jobs. live on c-span. around the same time, house education and labor subcommittee looks of the impact of the pandemic on higher education at noon on c-span2. ambassadorsbirx and from several countries are expected to discuss covid-19 at an event hosted by the atlantic council live at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can watch online at


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