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May 24, 2006

Pryce Votes for Farm Program Funding

Bill includes money for OSU, fight against ash borer, commodity food program

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) voted in favor of the FY2007 Department of Agriculture Appropriations bill, legislation funding our nation’s farming and nutrition programs. 

“This bill will support our nation’s farmers and ranchers and provide much-needed funding for research into public health issues and food safety,” Pryce said following the vote.  “All the while, the bill honors our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely by coming in $96 million below last year’s spending level.” 

The legislation specifically benefits Ohio in a number of ways:

It provides full funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a critically important program for the 12,000 low-income seniors in Ohio who rely upon it for their nutritional needs.  Earlier this month, Pryce wrote to the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee requesting that the program’s funding be restored.

Also included in the measure is $750,000 in funding for cancer research conducted by The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to evaluate freeze-dried berries for their ability to inhibit cancer development. “I am thrilled with this additional significant investment in the cutting edge research being performed at The Ohio State University.  Frozen berries have shown incredibly promising signs of preventing certain types of cancers in animals, and it is critically important that we continue to harness OSU's talents to explore what could result in unprecedented breakthroughs in the fight against this dreaded disease,” Pryce said.

Additionally, during consideration of the bill, the Congresswoman voted in support of an amendment to transfer $23 million to invasive pest control programs.  The House approved the amendment, and accordingly, the bill now allocates $138 million to help in the eradication and control efforts of the emerald ash borer (EAB), among other destructive pests.  “So many communities, wood manufacturers and nurseries across Ohio are impacted by the spread of the EAB,” Pryce said.  “With 3.4 million ash trees in Ohio at risk, our forest industry and Ohio’s ecosystem are in desperate need of this assistance.” 

Among other things, H.R. 5384, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2007 provides the following:

Ø       $853 million for the Food Safety and Inspection Service – $24 million above last year and
$96 million above the president’s request;

Ø       $1.5 billion for the Food and Drug Administration – $54 million above last year;

Ø       $13.3 billion for Child Nutrition Programs – $685 million above last year;

Ø       $5.244 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – $40 million above last year and $44 million above the president’s request; and

Ø       $700 million for the Rural Community Advancement Program (RCAP) – $5 million above last year and $99 million above the president’s request.