The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for adopting a budget resolution that boosts U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding by $89.1 billion. CBF urges lawmakers to invest a significant amount of those funds in conservation programs that improve soil health, reduce pollution, and bolster resilience to climate change.
The House approved the ten-year, $3.5 trillion budget plan today by a vote of 220-212. The Senate already voted to accept it, 50-49, on August 11. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have until September 15 to draft legislation allotting the extra funds among a number of USDA programs, including conservation.
Once all of the committees responsible for deciding how to allocate a portion of the $3.5 trillion increase have finished, their bills will be bundled into a single budget reconciliation package for Congress to consider.
CBF Federal Executive Director Denise Stranko issued the following statement:
“Time is running out to restore the Chesapeake Bay and the local creeks, streams, and rivers that feed into it. Lots of work remains to reduce pollution to meet the Blueprint’s 2025 deadline, and farmers will have to do roughly 80 percent of it. Investing a substantial amount of the USDA budget increase in conservation programs could be a game-changer for the Bay and the 18 million people who live and work in this region.
“Practices such as rotating where livestock graze and planting trees near streams to filter out pollutants are some of the most cost-effective ways to reduce the largest source of pollution harming the Bay and its waterways. Conservation practices like these also save farmers money, make their soil more productive, bolster local economies, and combat the effects of climate change.
“CBF thanks Bay delegation members of the House Budget Committee, Reps. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth D-Ky.), and House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-Ga.) for their work securing a budget increase for USDA.
“We look forward to working with our Bay champions on the House Agriculture Committee, Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Anthony Delgado (D-N.Y.), to direct a significant portion of the USDA budget increase to conservation programs.”
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