Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced a victory further enhancing the equal treatment for the District of Columbia that the Congresswoman achieved in the 2008 farm bill, which made the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) eligible for millions of dollars in farm bill grants for the first time. The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (farm bill), passed by the Senate today, makes D.C., like the states, eligible for federal funding under the McIntire-Stennis Act, which created a forestry research program that provides federal funds to public land-grant universities. Although UDC is the District's only public land-grant university, until now, its college of agriculture has not been eligible for those funds. "I am grateful to the Senate, but most especially grateful to Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-KS) for their efforts to ensure that D.C. was included in their bill, and while not on the committee, to Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), who gave significant assistance in our efforts to further pursue equal treatment for the District in the farm bill," Norton said. "The 2012 farm bill offers another significant step forward for the District's only land-grant university, helping it meet its goal of equal footing with other land-grant universities in the country. District residents pay more than their fair share of federal taxes, and should have equal access to federal grant money."
Norton has long fought to have the District of Columbia treated as a state for the purposes of federal programs, but some pre-home-rule programs still need updating.