Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement regarding legislation introduced by Senator Hoeven (R-ND) and Senator Stabenow (D-MI) that ties repeal of country of origin labeling (COOL) to both the elimination of existing market driven programs and the establishment of a so-called voluntary country of origin (COOL) labeling program for beef, pork, and chicken. This new voluntary program would operate under similar rules as the program found to violate U.S. international trade rules.
The Ag Minute: Audit Hearings Prep Lawmakers for Future Farm Policy Decisions
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, Chairman Frank Lucas discusses the importance of the audit hearing series on farm policy that the Agriculture Committee recently finished. Since June, subcommittee chairmen have examined programs in their respective jurisdictions to determine spending trends and confirm the efficacy and efficiency of each program. Chairman Lucas notes that the information gained throughout the process will be useful in developing future farm policy and in telling the story of American agriculture. Information on all of the audit hearings, including testimony, archived video, and audit questionnaires, can be found here.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"In June, the Agriculture Committee began a series of audits of farm programs.
"These eleven hearings have provided us with a snapshot of how USDA is spending taxpayer dollars to support American agriculture.
"We have looked for ways to increase efficiency and reduce spending in every aspect of farm policy—from commodity support to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
"We’ve collected 19 questionnaires with detailed information on USDA programs, and heard 22 separate testimonies from USDA officials.
"And we have not shied away from difficult questions; we’ve pressed the administration on ways to eliminate redundant programs and improve service to our farmers and ranchers.
"As the next farm bill approaches, every member of the Agriculture Committee—from freshmen to veterans—can use the information to develop better farm policy for the future.
"And, to convey the importance of farm policy to every member of Congress. After all, not everyone farms, but everyone eats."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.