Press Releases

Houlahan, Thompson Announce Progress to Secure $16M To Protect Pennsylvania’s Crops From Spotted Lanternfly

Washington, July 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Representative GT Thompson (R-PA) announced that the House Appropriations Committee has supported their bipartisan request for more than $16 million in USDA funding to support eradication of the Spotted Lanternfly. The funding would support research into preventing the spread of and eventual eradication of the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive and destructive insect species that has wreaked havoc on Pennsylvania’s agricultural sector and beyond. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture indicates the potential damage and lost revenue could amount to $18 billion per year statewide.

Representatives Houlahan and Thompson have led successful initiatives to secure the necessary funding to combat this invasive species, including sending a letter to House Appropriators in March 2020 making the case for this funding. That letter was also signed by 19 other bipartisan members of Congress, including most of the Pennsylvania delegation. The legislation supporting this funding passed the House Appropriations Committee on July 9 by a unanimous voice vote.

“I continue to hear from farmers, homeowners, and agricultural leaders in our community about the destruction caused by the Spotted Lanternfly,” said Houlahan. “I’m proud to have, for the second year in a row, secured funding for our community and Commonwealth to combat this invasive species. I’d like to acknowledge Penn State for innovative research on and contribution to the eradication of this harmful insect. It is crucial that we continue to put party aside and step up for our community’s farmers and for their crucial role in our economy.”

“The Spotted Lanternfly is a relentless menace that continues to harm Pennsylvania’s agricultural sector, damaging trees, and destroying crop yields,” said Rep. Thompson. “We must continue to guarantee the resources necessary to research, prevent the spread, and to eradicate this pest and other invasive species that inflict so much harm on our environment and economy.”

“Funding to research and combat this invasive species is an investment in critically important agricultural and forest-based industries in Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Rich Roush, Dean of Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. “The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension continue to serve as vital resources – conducting research and assisting businesses, property owners, and families throughout the Commonwealth -- and are grateful to Rep. Houlahan and Rep. Thompson for their leadership in support of efforts to fight the spotted lanternfly.”