House Ag holds hearing on uncertainty, inflation, regulations

The Hagstrom Report |
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., held his first hearing since taking over the committee in January.
The Hagstrom Report |
It was titled Uncertainty, Inflation, Regulations: Challenges for American Agriculture, and Thompson used the hearing to highlight what he considers to be the Biden administration’s deficiencies.
“The Biden administration continues to ignore these crises, neglecting America’s producers and consumers. In fact, this administration continues to promote nonsensical regulations and policies that create needless uncertainty for farmers, ranchers and working families, further limiting our ability to meet the growing food demands of our nation and the world,” Thompson said in an opening statement.
After a series of witnesses testified about these issues, Thompson said, “Today’s hearing has really shined a spotlight on the issues confronting producers and the entire agriculture sector from the farm to the consumer.
“Whether it is market volatility, weather risks, or wrongheaded government policy — much of which has been exacerbated by the Biden administration — the House Committee on Agriculture has a responsibility to examine these challenges and develop responsible approaches to addressing them in the upcoming farm bill.
“Over the course of the next several months, the committee will be holding numerous hearings and will be continuing our farm bill listening sessions at various locations across the country.
“I’d like to challenge my fellow committee members to be present and heavily engaged in this process.
“Getting the farm bill done right and on time will require a lot of work and attention from all of us, but we owe it to all our constituents — from producers to processors and, ultimately, to consumers — to get that policy right.”
In his opening statement, Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., ranking member who chaired the committee in the last Congress, congratulated Thompson but went on to note that under his leadership the committee brought Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to testify, held 19 farm bill review hearings and five listening sessions around the country and established an online feedback form which is still open and can be accessed on the House Agriculture Committee’s website, both Democratic and Republican.
Scott urged his fellow committee members to put the issues of uncertainty, inflation and regulations “in their proper context. We are still feeling the impacts of the pandemic on our supply chains. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted manufacturing across the globe, and exacerbated labor shortages.”
Scott continued, “The Biden administration has taken important actions to address these issues. President Biden signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act last year and helped avert a rail crisis. And the president worked with Congress to pass two historic pieces of legislation: the bipartisan Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act which included more than $2.9 billion for USDA’s rural broadband programs, water storage, and a new Bioproduct Pilot Program – the largest infrastructure investment ever.
“That was followed by passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which made historic investments in rural America to help our farmers and rural communities mitigate climate change and continue to lead the way on renewable energy. These investments in infrastructure and our farm bill and forestry programs will pay dividends for farmers well into the future.
“We have also seen how international conflicts continue to reverberate throughout our economy. Former President Trump’s trade war with China was devastating to many American producers and domestic manufacturers, and more recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine has had significant impacts on fertilizer, grain and fuel costs. The cause of inflation isn’t singular in nature; it is the result of a variety of factors.
“And with that in mind, we should also strive to focus on the issues that are within the House Agriculture Committee’s jurisdiction so that we can be the most impactful in our work ahead.”
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