Late last week the U.S. House of Representative passed the first package of funding bills for Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations. The package, H.R. 7608, included funding for the following bills: Agriculture and Rural Development, State and Foreign Operations, Interior and Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.
This bill resoundingly rejects harsh cuts that were proposed for programs like the Rural Co-op Development Grant (RCDG) in the president’s FY21 budget proposal. Important cooperative programs and their funding levels in the bill include:
Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA
- Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program: $5.8 million
- Rural Energy Savings Program: $12 million
- Food for Peace: $1.775 billion
- McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition: $235 million
State and Foreign Operations
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Cooperative Development Program: $17 million
- Development Assistance: $900 million
The State and Foreign Operations section of the bill also includes $10 billion in emergency supplemental funding for the U.S. international response to COVID-19.
Earlier this year, NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Doug O’Brien wrote to the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate supporting strong investments in these co-op programs. In March, O’Brien testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.
The House of Representatives intends to continue to pass the remaining FY21 funding bills throughout the month of July. Companion legislation has not yet been considered by the U.S. Senate.