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July 13, 2020

Rep. Kirkpatrick Secures Massive Funding for Rural Broadband, Food Assistance, University Research, and More

 Huge Victory for Arizonans, Agriculture-Rural Communities

(Tucson, AZ) — Rep. Kirkpatrick announces new funding victories from the FY2021 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill, which passed the House Appropriations Committee by voice vote. The bipartisan legislation funds agencies and programs within the Department of Agriculture, the Farm Credit Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration.

“Growing up in rural Arizona, I saw firsthand the disparities rural communities face, even in the best of times. The pandemic has only underscored the action Congress must take to assist with food security and strengthen rural communities,” Rep Kirkpatrick said.“As a member of the Agriculture Committee, and Rural Broadband Task Force, I have been fighting hard in Congress to deliver significant funds for Cochise County and rural communities across the state.” 

Rep. Kirkpatrick’s Arizona priorities were successfully included and approved in today’s vote. Some of Rep. Kirkpatrick’s toplines include:

  • Billions for rural infrastructure – including funds for rural water and waste programs and clean drinking water systems.
  • Protection and expansion of Food and Nutrition Programs such as the  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), in addition to funds for Summer Food Programs to ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.
  • Much needed and significant investments in the expansion of rural broadband infrastructure, including the strengthening of USDA’s ReConnect program, to enable rural communities to access the digital tools necessary to improve health, educational, and economic outcomes.
  • A continued investment in land grant institutions for research– to further bolster the University of Arizona’s critical agricultural and medical research.

In addition to securing some of her major Arizona priorities, Rep. Kirkpatrick was instrumental in helping the subcommittee allocate national funding priorities. 

Total discretionary funding in the legislation is $23.98 billion, an increase of $487 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. In total, the bill allows for $153 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding, an increase of $331 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. 

A summary of the fiscal year 2021 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA funding bill is here. The full text of the bill, prior to adoption of amendments in full committee, is here. The bill report is here.

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