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Agriculture Committee Democrats Emphasize Need to Preserve Agricultural Provisions in Build Back Better Act in Letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and President Biden

WASHINGTON (October 8, 2021) – In a letter to President Joseph R. Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Wednesday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott of Georgia and all of the Democratic Committee members reaffirmed support of the historic nature of the Build Back Better Act, while emphasizing the need to preserve agricultural provisions. 

The letter read as follows:

Dear President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Schumer,

As we work with the White House to deliver on the Build Back Better Agenda, we—the Democratic Members of the House Committee on Agriculture—wanted to highlight the critical investments we have included in our portions of the budget reconciliation process. These investments are essential to maintaining President Biden’s promise to “build back better” not just in urban and suburban communities, but also in rural and agricultural communities across the nation. As such, we respectfully urge that these provisions be maintained in any version of the Build Back Better Act passed by Congress.

The provisions included in the agriculture portion of the Build Back Better Act will make transformative investments that will benefit agricultural producers and rural communities for years and decades to come in the areas of agricultural research, rural development, renewable energy, biofuels, conservation, and forestry, as well as providing debt relief and assistance to economically distressed, at risk, and historically underserved farmers and producers.

America has been the world leader in agricultural research and innovation, but that position is at risk if we do not make key investments in research and education programs and our agricultural research facilities to help mitigate the impacts of climate change on our food and fiber production. These scholarships and investments will help train the next generation of agricultural scientists and specialists and ensure equity in agriculture by developing a diverse pipeline of agriculture professionals.

The Build Back Better agenda put a special emphasis on ensuring that rural communities and our communities at risk in rural areas be provided with the tools to address the need for clean drinking water, a transition to renewable energy sources, encouraging energy efficiency efforts, and continuing a role for biofuels in our transportation system.

The funding provided for climate-smart agriculture practices will help to address the fact that our current farm bill conservation programs are already oversubscribed with continuing backlogs that show the demand from producers and landowners willing to undertake efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rebuild soil carbon.

We have also included a historic investment that will allow USDA’s Forest Service to be more responsive and proactive in their efforts to mitigate the disastrous wildfire years that have ravaged our Western states and to work with their partners on the needs of state and private forests, including reaching out to underserved private forest landowners.

As we work towards a path forward, we encourage you to keep these crucial investments in place, and we look forward to any further discussions on the importance these investments will have, especially as we prepare to write the next farm bill.



Rep. David Scott, Chairman

A copy of the letter, along with each signatory, is available here.

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