Because some Republicans just love spending cuts as a concept, a proposed amendment came up for consideration in the House this week that would have halved a funding pool that supports the development of rural businesses through the Department of Agriculture. The House — by a huge margin — rejected the proposal.
Sponsored by Trump ally Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the proposal specifically targeted the Rural Business Program Account at the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. In supporting the development of job readiness and businesses in targeted communities, the program focuses in part on economic opportunities especially suited to such environments. “Our programs help provide the capital, training, education and entrepreneurial skills that can help those living in rural areas start and grow businesses or find jobs in agricultural markets and in the bio-based economy,” that federal team says on their official government website.
And for some reason, Perry and the other Republicans who supported his proposal wanted a tranche of their funding halved going from fiscal year 2023 to fiscal year 2024. Losing against 362 Congressional “no” votes, there were a total of 68 votes in favor, and all came from Republicans. The list included notable, well-known names like Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), and Kevin McCarthy (Calif.). Was the federal support for rural economic expansion too “woke” for them or something? Their failed amendment was proposed in conjunction with an appropriations bill that would provide funding for areas of federal work like the Food and Drug Administration.
Some of the underlying bills Republicans are pursuing in the House are unlikely to result in the necessary final approvals for funding before the deadline that’s just days away. This very bill, for instance, would — if enacted with the language included in a current version — roll back allowances for a medication used in induced abortions known as mifepristone. The drug, though still unavailable over the counter — meaning a prescription is required, can now be dispensed from retail pharmacies that otherwise meet the relevant standards. Republicans would undo that change.