Committee OKs bill to hike conservation, climate research

By Marc Heller | 06/24/2022 06:21 AM EDT

The House Appropriations Committee yesterday approved its Agriculture-Rural Development spending bill.

Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Chair Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) and full committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) during a markup yesterday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The House Appropriations Committee approved a $27.2 billion spending plan for agriculture programs yesterday, endorsing increases for the Agriculture Department’s efforts to manage the growing effects of climate change on the nation’s food production.

The annual spending bill represents an 8 percent increase in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, or about $2.1 billion more discretionary spending than this year. It passed the Democratic-led committee on a party-line vote of 32-26.

Supporters, including Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) touted the measure’s plus-ups for rural development, improved broadband in farm country and more than $3 billion for conservation programs that save water, help soil preserve carbon and enhance crop production. The bill would provides $20 million for climate science.


Republicans criticized the overall spending level, which subcommittee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, said ignored the country’s economic difficulties.