House Passes H.R. 7606 Which Includes USDA Special Investigator Bill

U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

House Republicans voiced opposition to the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act which passed on Thursday. Part of the opposition was the creation of a USDA special investigator for meat industry competition. More popular Ag bills were included and the House passed the act to now send it to the Senate.

House Ag Republican leader Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson told the House Rules Committee, USDA doesn’t need a special investigator to police the meat packing industry, blaming Democrats for trying to shift blame for inflation.

“Industry consolidation in the meat processing sector hasn’t changed in decades…supply chain disruptions, historic inflation are happening now. They’ve been made worse by the war in Ukraine—absolutely—but these prices cannot be mitigated by unfunded mandates, duplicative authorities, politicized agencies and big government…and that’s exactly what this special investigator bill provides.”

Thompson says USDA already has a division to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act, and he argues more bureaucracy and compliance costs will only make inflation worse.

But House Ag Chair David Scott expressed a different view in his panel’s hearings.

“We have farmers right now, and ranchers, that have not made a profit in five-years…and many of the next generation of these families, are refusing to go into this business. And we also found out that 17-thousand ranching businesses are going out of business every year.”

H.R. 7606 passed on a 221-204 vote. The American Soybean Association expressed support since the bill includes biofuels and precision agriculture provisions supported by soybean farmers.

National Corn Growers Association supports two biofuels provisions in the act, saying “The provisions offer a permanent solution for maintaining year-round market access to fuels with a 15% ethanol blend, called E15, and provide additional support for infrastructure for higher biofuels blends.”

NCGA also endorsed the PRECISE Act, which was included in the package.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor welcomed the passage saying, “The legislation includes key provisions that would permanently lift barriers to year-round sales of E15.”

Growth also made note of the $200 million authorized for infrastructure funding.

Source: NAFB News

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