The U.S. House of Representatives passed an Agriculture Appropriations Bill, geared to reopen the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The bill was passed mostly by Democrats in a vote of 243-183 and would fund the programs and services within the USDA for Fiscal Year 2019, ending September 30th. It provides $23.2 billion in discretionary funding, $225 million more than last year.
It would reopen the Farm Service Agency, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and nutrition assistance programs. The government has been in a partial shut down for three weeks.
Iowa Representative Cindy Axne sent a letter to the Senate urging them to consider the bill saying, “The lapse in USDA federal funding will have a significant impact on an industry that is an economic driver and job creator across the state of Iowa. So long as the USDA remains unfunded, hundreds of crucial programs and services are unavailable, preventing Iowa farmers from providing for their families and feeding people at home and around the world.”
The House Committee on Appropriations says America’s farmers can’t afford another day of a government shutdown. The committee says its bill is similar to a Senate bill already passed in a bipartisan 92-6 vote.
However, government funding packages tends to be grouped together.
In response to questions on selectively appropriating government funding, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst released a statement saying, “One of my top priorities is helping Iowa’s farmers and producers, which is why I worked so hard to get the Farm bill passed. I understand the difficulty that this shutdown is causing our farmers back home and I am continuing to work with my colleagues to find a path forward that both provides security at our southern border and fully funds our government.”