Introduction of the McIntire-Stennis Act District of Columbia Equality Act

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 6, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. NORTON. Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the McIntire-Stennis Act District of Columbia Equality Act, which would correct an apparent oversight in the exclusion of the District of Columbia from eligibility for funding under the McIntire-Stennis Act (Act).

The Act provides the states and certain territories with formula funding to support state-designated institutions' cooperative forestry research programs. The funding available under this Act assists the states and territories in carrying out forestry research programs at state forestry schools and colleges and developing a trained pool of forest scientists capable of conducting needed forestry research.

District of Columbia residents pay full federal taxes, and with few exceptions, the District is treated as a state under federal programs. This Act defines ``State'' to include Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam, whose residents do not pay full federal taxes. The District's absence from the Act makes it ineligible for federal funding that would support research at the District's public university, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences at UDC, the nation's only urban land-grant university, offers programs that complement D.C.'s ongoing forestry efforts and serve individuals in my district and beyond. Rectifying the District's exclusion from this Act would ensure its equitable treatment and provide UDC a fair share of resources.

The District should be eligible under this Act just like the states and territories. This bill would allow students and researchers in the nation's capital to benefit from this important forestry program. I urge support for this bill.