Budzinski, Vilsack Highlight Popularity of Inflation Reduction Act Programs in House Ag Committee Hearing 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) participated in a House Committee on Agriculture hearing with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to highlight the value of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) conservation programs to Illinois farmers. The IRA represents the single largest investment in climate and clean energy solutions in American history, providing $19.5 billion over five years to support the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) conservation programs. 

WATCH: Budzinski, Vilsack Highlight Popularity of Inflation Reduction Act Programs in House Ag Committee Hearing

WATCH: Budzinski, Vilsack Highlight Popularity of Inflation Reduction Act Programs in House Ag Committee Hearing

“Last fall, as a response to what I’ve heard from my district in Central and Southern Illinois, I led a letter with Congresswoman Pingree and Congressman Costa, along with all the Democrats on the committee, outlining our shared priority to protect the Inflation Reduction Act Climate Smart Conservation funds,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “These funds have provided a historic investment into our farms and have already served many rural farmers in my home state of Illinois. I was also excited to see that 100 percent of the obligated IRA dollars made it into the hands of farmers in Illinois.”  

“The bottom line is, I think Farmers understand what they need to do to improve soil health and water quality. And I think they are deeply interested in doing more of this, but they need help and assistance,” said Secretary Vilsack. “I think that’s why they responded as they did to the additional resources of the Inflation Reduction Act, oversubscribing all of the programs. We saw a tremendous initiative with our Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which is really large-scale landscape activity, where we saw over $1 billion of requests for a limited sum of $400 million.”

In October, Congresswoman Budzinski led Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee in a letter urging Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson and Ranking Member David Scott to ensure the nearly $20 billion in conservation funding provided in the Inflation Reduction Act is used for its intended purpose in the 2023 Farm Bill.

This week, the USDA released an Inflation Reduction Act Visualization Tool to provide an overview of state-level usage of Inflation Reduction Act funds for conservation in Fiscal Year 2023. 

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