Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – The full Agriculture Committee concluded its first public hearing today to review the Waxman-Markey climate change and energy legislation (H.R. 2454).
It was the first time the Agriculture Committee had the opportunity to hear from the Secretary of
Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who was the only witness on the first panel. During the question and answer portion of his testimony, Secretary Vilsack said “there is obviously work yet to be done on this bill” and that it is a “work in progress.” He also admitted that USDA had not done a complete analysis of how this bill will impact farmers and ranchers, but that “it is fair to say there may be additional costs associated with a farming operation.”
“Today’s hearing showed us overwhelmingly that there are still too many unanswered questions to allow this bill to move forward to the House floor for a vote in two weeks. We need more hearings, more outreach, more information, and more understanding about this bill. Even Secretary Vilsack said this bill is a work in progress. This Congress should not be forced to vote on a bill that is not carefully considered and debated, and will only result in destroying rural America,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas.