Late last week, the House began consideration of the first FY21 spending minibus, H.R. 7608, which contains the Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, State-Foreign Operations, and Military-Construction bills. The chamber debated and passed by voice vote the ag spending measure, which included a number of amendments. The full appropriations package is expected to pass later in the month.
The approved measure retained $2.75 million for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) potato breeding special research grants and a prohibition on USDA limiting access to potatoes in the school breakfast program – the third year this prohibition has been included in the funding bill.
Included within the bill’s accompanying report are provisions encouraging USDA to make additional surplus commodity purchases. The House Appropriations Committee specifically wants USDA to focus on sectors of the potato industry injured by the foodservice shutdown.