Appropriations and Pesticide-Related Amendments
In mid-June, the House of Representatives began taking action on a handful of fiscal 2020 funding bills.
On June 19, the House passed a package of spending bills that would fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, and Energy from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020. Several amendments were filed to those bills including an amendment that would have banned the application of any pesticides containing imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran, acetamiprid, sulfoxaflor, flupyradifurone, or fipronil on the grounds of the Capitol, the Botanic Garden, and the Library of Congress. Another amendment that would have prevented the Army Corps of Engineers from using glyphosate in the Los Angeles River. However, the House Rules Committee did not allow these amendments to come up for a vote on the House floor, and the amendments were not offered or included in the final spending package.
The House is now turning its attention to a second spending package that includes funding for the EPA and a host of other federal agencies. One filed amendment would have prohibited EPA from processing any pesticide registration related to chlorpyrifos. A second amendment would have prohibited EPA from registering pesticides containing certain medical antibiotics. Again, the House Rules Committee determined that two anti-pesticide amendments could not be brought up for a vote on the House floor. An amendment to eliminate environmental discharge, or “NPDES” permit requirements for aquatic pesticides was also struck from consideration on the House floor.
We are continuing to watch the debate over all spending bills for politically motivated pesticide amendments that circumvent the science-driven regulatory process, jeopardizing access to plant protection tools that may have critical uses in horticulture.