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House agriculture spending bill shuns climate, conservation

By Marc Heller | 06/11/2024 06:30 AM EDT

The legislation would rein in “wasteful” spending at the Department of Agriculture, Republicans said.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.).

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), who chairs the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, released his fiscal 2025 bill Monday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

House Republicans proposed a $25.9 billion annual spending bill for agriculture programs Monday, aiming to slash funding for climate-related research and other Biden administration priorities.

The released by Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Andy Harris (R-Md.) would trim overall funding only slightly from this year — but the fiscal 2024 measure was itself a reduction too steep for many Democrats to stomach.

The Agriculture Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up the bill Tuesday evening.

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In a bill summary, the Republican majority said the bill would rein in wasteful spending and curtail “low priority” agricultural research while keeping level funding for other work at land grant universities. The proposed reduction would be as little as 1.4 percent by Republican estimates or 4 percent by Democratic estimates, depending on each side’s reading of the bill.

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