April 5, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2022
Dee Laninga, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-450-0094
Melodie Mendez, email@example.com, 212-727-4442
Laura Zaks, firstname.lastname@example.org, 347-563-6408
Lorette Picciano, email@example.com, 703-624-8869
Lisa Nurnberger, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-668-9219
Washington, DC. April 5, 2022 — Farm Action, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Rural Coalition, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and 157 signing organizations criticized a move by Congress to rescind between $1.6 and $1.65 billion of USDA funding.
In open letters addressed to President Biden and members of Congress, the organizations urged Congress to reconsider provisions in the Covid Supplemental Appropriations Act that take money away from essential food system resiliency programs.
“The proposed rescission will leave USDA without resources to respond to supply chain disruptions exacerbated by the instability in Europe,” the letter states. “Eliminating these programs will endanger not only [farmers’ and food system workers’] well-being but also the resilience of our food and farm system.”
The Covid Supplemental Appropriations Act was introduced in the House in March for continued pandemic management. To pay for these efforts, the bill includes provisions that take back $1.65 billion allotted to the USDA in 2021, which amounts to 5% of USDA’s total programs and operations budget. The funding recission emerged from a closed-door meeting in late March, and it would appear the Senate is following the House’s lead. The White House has lent support to the move.
The organizations urged the White House and Congress to fund its ongoing pandemic efforts while honoring its “investments in a more just, equitable, and resilient food and farm system.”
Farm Action leverages its research, policy development, advocacy campaigns, and political expertise to create a food and agriculture system that works for everyday people rather than a handful of powerful corporations. We are joined in our movement by farmers, ranchers, rural communities, food system workers, policymakers, advocates, and anyone who eats.
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
NSAC (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities. NSAC member groups advance common positions to support small and mid-size family farms, protect natural resources, promote healthy rural communities, and ensure access to healthy, nutritious foods by everyone.
The Rural Coalition is a vibrant alliance of more than 50 rural community-based organizations of African-American, Asian-American, American-Indian, Euro-American, Latinx and women farmers, farmworkers and rural communities in the United States. Together, the Rural Coalition and its member’s work to ensure that organizations serving historically underserved farm communities in the food system have the opportunity to develop and support their own initiatives to improve equity in food and farm policy.
UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists) is a national organization with 50 years of experience putting science into action to build a healthier planet, a safer world, and a more equitable society. Our half-million members and supporters include everyday people as well as some of the nation’s top scientists, and our distinctive UCS Science Network draws upon nearly 23,000 scientists and technical experts across the country to assist our local, state, and national efforts. Working together, we advance science-based solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, conducting rigorous technical analyses and mobilizing our supporters to build powerful coalitions, educate decisionmakers, and advocate for change.