House Ag Approps subcommittee approves 2020 bill

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee today approved the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill for the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Farm Credit Administration, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The bill was unanimously approved by voice vote.

The bill’s provisions would block the USDA from moving the Economic Research Service under the Office of the Chief Economist, which is under the Office of the Secretary, and from moving most of the employees of ERS and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of the Washington metropolitan area.

“I don’t know that we have discerned what the motivations are,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a member of the subcommittee who has chaired it in the past. “I think we need to move and to move quickly so that we can block a move the administration seems to be hell-bent on doing.”

House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., said that the bill’s lack of a provision prohibiting genetic modification of human embryos could reduce bipartisan support for the bill.

The subcommittee vote sets it up for full committee consideration when Congress returns after the Memorial Day break.

The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee has not yet voted on the fiscal year 2020 bill.

–The Hagstrom Report