This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) that would have required the Agriculture Department to provide funding for urban gardening programs. This amendment was offered to legislation providing annual funding for Agriculture Department programs.
Specifically, urban gardening programs were funded through existing federal grants under the Food and Nutrition Act. Jackson Lee’s amendment prohibited the underlying agriculture bill’s funds from being “used in contravention of the Food and Nutrition Act.” Thus, the amendment would have effectively prohibited the Agriculture Department from redirecting funding for urban gardening programs to other programs.
Jackson Lee urged support for her amendment: “I hope my colleagues will join me in recognizing the value of emphasizing the importance of urban gardening. My amendment would prohibit any of the funds made available by the appropriations from being used in contravention of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. Forty-seven million American families live in poverty that restricts their access to healthy food. The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 supports numerous programs aimed at reducing hunger throughout the country. Seventeen million children struggle with hunger every day, affecting their ability to learn and develop in a country so full of resources. It is unconscionable that millions of children do not have enough to eat. We cannot consider proposals that would contradict existing legislation aimed at improving food security, such as the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.”
No Republicans spoke in opposition to Jackson Lee’s amendment. Most Republicans, however, voted against it.
The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 181-237. Voting “yea” were 176 Democrats and 5 Republicans. 230 Republicans and 7 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have required the Agriculture Department to provide funding for urban gardening programs.