Alexander Votes to Support Tennessee Farmers, Agricultural Research at the University of Tennessee

Posted on July 20, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after voting for legislation that funds programs that support Tennessee farmers, funds agricultural research at the University of Tennessee and funds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which ensures the safety of the food Tennesseans eat:

“This appropriations bill provides funding for important agricultural programs that support the more than 66,000 Tennessee farmers as well as agricultural research at the University of Tennessee to help find ways for farmers to grow better crops. This funding bill provides $2.8 billion – including $60 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act --  for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – an agency responsible for approving life-saving drugs and medical devices and getting them through the regulatory process and into to doctor’s offices and patient’s medicine cabinets more quickly. The Department of Agriculture and the FDA are also responsible for protecting our nation’s food supply and preventing foodborne illness to help ensure that the food Tennessee families buy at their local grocery store is safe.” 

The Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill supports U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agriculture, rural development, and conservation programs that benefit farmers across Tennessee. Tennessee is home to more than 66,000 farms and nearly 11 million acres of farmland.

The bill also provides a total of $2.8 billion for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for protecting public health by assuring the safety and efficacy of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, and cosmetics. The bill also funds $60 million to the FDA as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation Congress passed, and President Obama signed last year. Alexander was the chief architect of the 21st Century Cures Act, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called it “the most important legislation of the year.”

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, and the legislation must now be considered by the full Senate.