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.
$6 Billion, 5-year Budget commitment for Permanent Improvements to Farmer's Financial Safety Net
COMBEST ANNOUNCES $6 BILLION IN AGRICULTURE BUDGET AUTHORITY
Today, the House Budget Committee will consider its Budget Resolution for Fiscal Years 2000-2004 which contains a total of $6 billion in new agriculture funding authority over four years. House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX) issued the following statement:
"This is nothing less than a triumph for America's farmers and ranchers. They are in a time of great need and we are working hard to create an adequate safety net to ensure their future prosperity. The $6 billion contained in the Budget Resolution guarantees us the fiscal means to strengthen the financial safety net for farmers and I'm confident we'll now have the tools to improve the risk management system.
"I'd especially like to thank Saxby Chambliss for his hard work in ensuring that this money was included in the Resolution," Combest said of Rep. Chambliss (R-GA), a member of the both the Agriculture and Budget Committees.
In addition to the $6 billion in new agriculture funding, the Budget Resolution contains up to $15 billion in tax cuts for FY2000 and almost $800 billion over the next decade. These reductions will allow Congress to continuing working to provide American farmers and ranchers with tax relief vital to their livelihoods -- including estate tax reform, health insurance deductions, capital gains tax relief, and the creation of Farm and Ranch Risk Management savings accounts.
Chairman Combest represents Texas' 19th Congressional District which includes the Panhandle, South Plains, and Permian Basin.