House Ag recesses markup until Wednesday

The House Agriculture Committee began a business meeting today to mark up a series of bills, but recessed at 4:15 p.m. until 11 a.m. Wednesday.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., and Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., issued dramatically different opening statements.

Scott said, “These bills address some of our supply chain issues, input costs for our farmers and ranchers, and ultimately the resilience of our great American economy.” Scott also thanked “the wonderful team at USDA for the technical assistance they have provided on several of the bills under consideration today.”

In his remarks prepared for delivery, Thompson started off expressing appreciation for working with Scott and said, “There were a number of bills dropped from today’s meeting due to the need for further revisions, vetting, and technical assistance. I appreciate this decision. And while there are other pieces of legislation that were ready for markup but not included in today’s proceedings, we look forward to working with the chairman on those important priorities.”

Thompson went on to criticize President Biden for issuing “an executive order promoting competition in the American economy under the guise industry consolidation was increasing prices for families, wreaking havoc on our supply chains, decreasing wages for workers, and stifling innovation and economic growth.”

Thompson said that the Democrats had “jammed through” billions of dollars in new spending and “under the pretext of COVID relief” tried to pass the Build Back Better bill. Now, he said, Biden’s argument that consolidation “is to blame for fractured supply chains and historic inflation” is “disinformation” that “has seeped into Congress through hearings and legislation focused on issues such as cattle markets, energy, and most recently, adult and infant formula.

“We are here to discuss a selection of bills that range in theme, scope, purpose, and impact. While a few are solid pieces of legislation and offer a dash of hope, others simply demonize industries and kick the policy can down the road.”

The committee met for more than two hours, devoting much of its deliberation to meatpacking issues. Scott said he was postponing votes until Wednesday because some members of the committee were voting in other committees today.


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