WASHINGTON, D.C. – We know that families across the nation, including right here at home, are impacted by the rising cost of food and gas prices. Some of our local congressional members are pointing the finger at President Biden’s agriculture policies for the rising costs.
At the Capitol, there are dueling ideas on how to lower the cost of food and gas. Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R- PA), who is the ranking member on the Agriculture Committee, sent a letter to Biden with an outline of what the administration can to help our farmers; which he said will ultimately help families.
“We’re in a serious crisis moment and we need serious policy actions to mitigate the impacts at home and abroad,” said Rep. Thompson.
“And let’s make the White House reverse its decisions on these regulations.,” said Rep. Fred Keller (R- PA). “When it comes to energy that is costing our farmers so much to produce our food, when it comes to the waters of the US, when it comes to tax regulations.”
With the backing of the Republican members on the Agriculture Committee, Rep. Thompson introduced a bill that essentially pushes back on several of the Biden administration’s Ag policies and they said it would cut back excessive regulation. The bill would block a recently proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule which would require farmers to track and report climate impact disclosures by public companies. They said the majority of farmers do not have the time nor resources to do this. This bill would also allow farmers to use certain pesticides which have been suspended or canceled under the EPA. Members said it would give producers more tools to protect their crops and combat pests.
While the Republicans offered these suggestions, the Democrats have their own ideas on how to combat the climbing fuel and food costs.
“Between COVID, stress in the supply chains impact on the global market, the war in Ukraine’s impact on food and oil prices, and monopolies price gouging especially in the meat and chicken supply, costs are through the roof,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D- NJ).
In the Democratic version on how to help farmers and families, their legislation would put 700-milllion towards the Department of Agriculture to help producers with the costs of nutrient management and precision agriculture and for renewable fuels infrastructure. In their bill, it would create a food supply chain task force, authorize year-round sale of E15 grade ethanol fuel, provide subsidies to small meat producers and create a meat and poultry special investigator within the USDA.
We expect the House to move forward on a vote on the Democratic version this week. Republicans have noted that they worry their ideas and letter to the President would “fall on deaf ears”.