CHAIRMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF FY20 FUNDING PACKAGE FOR COMMERCE-JUSTICE-SCIENCE, AGRICULTURE-RURAL DEVELOPMENT-FDA, INTERIOR-ENVIRONMENT, MILITARY CONSTRUCTION/VETERANS AFFAIRS, AND TRANSPORTATION-HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement regarding the passage of the FY20 “minibus” government funding package (H.R. 3055). A minibus bill is a package of appropriations measures and provides funding for a number of, but not all, government departments, programs, and agencies. The minibus passed today includes the Commerce, Justice, and Science; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration; Interior and Environment; Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development FY20 Appropriations Acts. This funding package was passed by the full U.S. House of Representatives in a vote of 227 to 194.
“The second Appropriations bill makes vital investments in our military families, veterans, rural communities, agriculture, public safety, infrastructure, clean air, and drinking water, among many other areas. It promotes the principles of good government and has provisions that please both sides of the aisle.
“As Vice Chair of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, I was outraged at the reports of substandard housing for our military families. This bill provides $1.5 billion to address these issues and will ensure quality housing for more than 2 million military families. The bill also provides $94.3 billion for improving the Department of Veterans Affairs—focusing on medical care, the disability claims processing backlog, and the electronic health record system. We included $222 million for suicide prevention outreach to combat the persistent challenges surrounding veteran suicide, P.T.S.D., and other mental health challenges. One of our greatest responsibilities is taking care of our service members, and veterans who have put their lives on the line for our nation.
“Few people recognize the Agriculture subcommittee’s far-reaching jurisdiction; from food safety and agriculture research, to rural development and nutrition assistance, the programs in this division touch the lives of citizens on a daily basis. I have made rural communities and agriculture a priority in my time as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. The total allocation for FY 2020 is $24.310 billion, more than $5.1 billion above the Administration’s request, because we refused to shortchange our rural communities, vulnerable populations, or to eliminate vital international food programs used for diplomacy.
“The bill provides funding to prevent violent crime so as to make our communities safer. I’m hopeful the $305 million in funding for school safety, grants to improve background checks, and at-risk youth mentoring programs will help Americans sleep better and safer at night.
“The funding package provides $61 billion for infrastructure, a crucial first step in repairing our nation’s roads and bridges. It also gives $4.62 billion in state and tribal assistance grants to clean water initiatives, one of our basic and most important functions of government.
“I’m proud to support this funding package and hope it will quickly pass the Senate.”