Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


May 9, 2018
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement regarding the subcommittee's passage of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 spending bill:
“I thank Chairman Aderholt for his collaborative approach to crafting this FY19 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This bill is a vital component of our agricultural landscape and nutritional safety-net. It provides the resources needed to ensure our food products and prescription drugs are safe, and is the primary driver of support for rural communities.
“There is more work to be done, but I am pleased with our progress on this important bill. This legislation includes adequate funding for our food safety-net programs and largely avoids reforms that would limit the ability of vulnerable citizens to receive the nutrition they need to survive. It also provides additional support for our rural housing, water and broadband programs.
“I believe we need a robust strategy to solve the issue of food deserts in America, and I am very supportive of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative included in this bill. This program leverages public private partnerships with grocery stores and other food businesses to expand the availability of nutritious and affordable foods. 
“This legislation also continues the Distance Learning Telemedicine program, which I first spearheaded in last year’s bill, with $5 million in additional funding. This program will help spur innovative delivery of health services in rural areas by leveraging advances at the intersection of medicine and telecommunication.
“I am hopeful that we can continue our collaborative, bipartisan approach to this bill as it moves toward consideration by the full House Appropriations Committee, and ultimately the full U.S. House of Representatives.”
Below is a list of highlights of funding levels and other key provisions in the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations Bill:
FY19 Mark: $23.273 billion ($14 million above the FY18 Enacted)
FY19 Request: $17.036 billion
FY18 Enacted: $23.259 billion
Nutrition Programs:
  • $73.2 billion in mandatory Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding. While this is $794 million below last year’s level, it is consistent with current estimates.
  • $28 million for the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children program (Summer EBT), which is equal to FY18 and $5 million over the request.
  • $64.4 million for the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
  • $6 billion for the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC).
Rural Development:
  • $3.079 billion for rural development programs, including:
    • $35 million for Distance Learning, Telemedicine, Broadband grants, which was spearheaded by Congressman Sanford Bishop and funded at $5 million more than last year.
    • $1 billion for single family direct loans.
    • $1.45 billion for rural water and wastewater program loans.
    • $637 million for water and wastewater grants for clean and reliable drinking water systems and sanitary wastewater disposal systems
  • $3.1 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Food Safety:
  • $1.05 billion for food safety and inspection programs.
Animal and Plant Health:
  • $998.4 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
  • $1.5 billion for Food for Peace ($216M below 2018) and $208 million for McGovern-Dole (equal to FY18).
Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
  • $3.120 billion for FDA, $308 million more than FY18.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC):
  • $255 million for CFTC, $6 million above FY18.