Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
The Ag Minute: EPA's Overreach Hurts Small Businesses
Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Sam Graves, discusses proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and how they will negatively impact small businesses and rural economies. Rep. Graves is the Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee and a co-chair of the Rural America Solutions Group, which recently hosted a forum to examine the unprecedented, overreaching, and burdensome regulations EPA is trying to impose on farmers, ranchers, and small businesses.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"As a small business owner and farmer, I am well aware of the growing mountain of regulations that stand in the way of doing business in rural America. In fact, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy recently reported that small firms pay nearly $3,000 more per employee than larger firms to comply with government regulations.
"The cost of environmental regulations falls especially heavy on small firms, which pay 364 percent more than large firms to comply. And, this data doesn’t even take into account the tidal wave of regulations to come. The Obama administration and Majority leaders are currently threatening a national energy tax, unprecedented carbon restrictions, and working to dramatically expand the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority over air and water.
"A few weeks ago, I joined the Rural America Solutions Group in hosting a forum to examine the effects that excessive environmental regulations have on rural communities. Our forum brought experts from across the country together to discuss the many ways that environmental overregulation like this is counterproductive and kills job creation. Our experts’ comments and analyses reiterated the fact that EPA regulations devastate small businesses, raise the cost of living, and force employers to cut hiring.
"Something must be done. I know that we can find ways to protect our environment and secure energy independence without punishing the people who run the businesses and cultivate the lands that fuel our communities and feed our families. Before moving forward with current EPA initiatives and related legislation, I hope that Congress and the administration will first examine the very real impact these initiatives could have on rural America."
The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas's weekly radio address that is released each Tuesday from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.