House Spending Bill Would Restore Key Research Program Waiver
The AmericanHort advocacy team has recently been drawing attention to the 2018 Farm Bill’s inadvertent elimination of language granting the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to waive a statutory requirement for participating entities to contribute matching funds when participating in the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). The lack of waiver authority has undermined the very positive reallocation of an additional $25 million to the SCRI program, bringing the total funding to $80 million. SCRI is a critical research tool for the horticulture industry.
We’re happy to report that initial drafts of the House spending bill, called a continuing resolution, include language restoring these authorities for the duration of the 2020 fiscal year. AmericanHort staff and advocate members have been fighting for a restoration of this language to continue the research and innovation necessary across the sector, including at last week’s Impact Washington Summit, and will continue to push for Congress to fix the waiver language omission from the 2018 Farm Bill.