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.
Hearing to Review the State of the Rural Economy
March 5, 2013 - The House Agriculture Committee held a public hearing to review the state of the rural economy with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack. In light of the March 1 effective date for the sequester, the primary topic of discussion was how USDA planned to implement the across-the-board spending cuts and what impact they would have on the agriculture sector. Members of the Committee asked the Secretary about his recent remarks that the sequester would cause meat inspector furloughs. Chairman Lucas also questioned if USDA, in preparation for the impact on food production and inspections, had made any requests to the House Appropriations Committee for flexibility or additional funds as it develops a Continuing Resolution for the remainder of FY2013.