Parties At Odds Over Special Investigator
Over the objections of most Republicans, the House approved a USDA special investigator to monitor meat industry competition. During last week’s 221-204 seven Republicans backed and four Democrats opposed a USDA special investigator to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act, the anchor for a package of Ag bills.
“Cracking down on the market power of big conglomerates, increasing competition will ensure that ranchers get their fair deal for their livestock, while families get a good price for meat and poultry," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Third, this bill will make cheaper, cleaner, homegrown biofuels more widely available [during the summer driving season]."
But House Republicans largely opposed the special investigator measure, and rolled out legislation of their own.
“We’ve introduced the Reducing Farm Input Costs and Barriers to Production Act," noted top Ag Republican Glenn Thompson. "Now this bill would reverse many of the more harmful regulatory burdens spearheaded by the Biden Administration. It would address escalating input costs and provide certainty to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, and other entities across our Ag and food supply chains.”
Thompson called the Democrat bill’s title, the Lower Food and Fuel Cost Act, “dishonest” since it costs $700 million, will heap new red tape on Ag and increase grocery bills. The GOP claims their legislation would boost access to fertilizer ingredients phosphate and potash, designating both as critical minerals and allow longer use of pesticides after EPA cancels them.
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