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: Senate's Inaction Saddles Farmers with More Regulations
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Scott Tipton discusses how the Senate's failure to pass H.R. 872 is unleashing a new regulatory blitz on farmers, ranchers, and small businesses. H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, is among the 20 bipartisan jobs bills that the House passed as part of House Republicans’ Plan for America’s Job Creators.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"As a member of both the House Agriculture and Small Business Committees, I frequently hear concerns from many family farmers and ranchers who are facing a mountain of onerous new federal regulations. All told, this administration has forced businesses to pay almost $273 million in compliance costs for new regulations.
"Our nation’s farmers are expected to continue increasing food production to feed a growing population, but unnecessary regulations that place increased burdens on American agriculture can make production more costly and challenging.
"One such unnecessary regulation took effect on October 31 because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to act on HR 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act. This legislation, which passed in the House in March, would have ensured that businesses are not subject to a costly and duplicative permitting requirement for the use of pesticides that are already heavily regulated.
"This is a serious concern to farmers across the nation, including those in my home state of Colorado, where agriculture generates $20 billion in economic activity each year, accounting for more than 100,000 jobs.
"We should be helping our farmers and ranchers boost our economy, instead of saddling them with more government paperwork and compliance costs.
"If the Senate Democrats want to get serious about job creation, they can start now by passing H.R. 872."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.