Biden endorses ‘lower food, fuel costs’ bill as Rules meets
The Biden administration today endorsed H.R. 7606, the “Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act,” as the House Rules Committee was meeting to consider that bill and other bills.
The more than four hour House Rules Committee hearing ended about 6 p.m.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Va., testified in support of the bill while Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., who also testified, issued a statement Friday in opposition to it.
Scott said the bill would reduce the cost of both food and fuel and includes a needed measure to investigate meat firms.
Thompson said the bill would not reduce the cost of either food or fuel and that he was “dumbfounded” as to why the Democrats would choose this moment to make a partisan point. Thompson said the bill combines several measures that have bipartisan support but contains a measure to create an office to investigate meat firms that is part of a Democratic effort to blame the meatpacking industry for a variety of ills.
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said he does not understand why there is such strong opposition to investigating the meat industry.
Noting that the bill was introduced by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and others, the White House Office of Management and Budget said, “The administration supports House passage of H.R. 7606, the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, which would promote a more resilient food system with strengthened agriculture and food supply chains, greater biofuels infrastructure, and greater competition in the meat and poultry sectors to ensure access to fairer, better, and more competitive markets with more stable prices for consumers.”
OMB added, “This bipartisan legislation is an important step in ensuring that the U.S. builds on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions, while supporting American farmers to reduce their input costs and reduce energy usage.”
The bill is a combination of several bills that have moved through the House Agriculture Committee. The House Rules Committee describes it as a bill “to establish the Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters within the Department of Agriculture” and says the bill was introduced by Spanberger and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, but most of the support for the special investigator came from Democrats.
The House is likely to act on the bill this week.
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