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.
Agriculture Committee Meets to Approve Budget Views & Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Farmers and Ranchers
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – The House Agriculture Committee met today to consider the budget views and estimates letter for the 2015 fiscal year, H.R. 935, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, and a resolution commemorating the Smith-Lever Act, which established the nationwide Cooperative Extension System.
"The Agricultural Act of 2014 contributes substantially to deficit reduction while simultaneously making historic reforms to every facet of farm, nutrition, and conservation policy. With its enactment, the committee will rightly focus on its oversight role ensuring that the Department of Agriculture is administering food and nutrition programs in a fiscally responsible way and implementing the reforms of the new farm bill as Congress intended. Additionally, the committee will reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) while continuing its vigorous oversight of CFTC regulations to ensure they’re not harming economic growth and job creation. Reducing regulatory burdens on our farmers and ranchers will remain another top priority for the committee. I am pleased that we approved H.R. 935, which is necessary to address the negative economic consequences of a misguided court ruling. I am also proud the committee formally recognized the success and contributions of the Cooperative Extension System to agricultural research and education," said Chairman Frank Lucas.
"Even though the 2014 Farm Bill produced significant savings, we know that agriculture programs will continue to come under attack from those outside the committee. The committee is committed to reducing the deficit but I hope our colleagues listen to us, avoid political games and keep in mind the safety net the farm bill provides during tough economic times, be it for farmers or consumers struggling to put food on the table. I am pleased the Committee approved H.R. 935, relieving producers from the burden of a paperwork exercise with no environmental benefit and approved H.Con. Res. 86, recognizing the excellent job done by 4-H clubs and extension economists and crop and livestock specialists at Land Grant Universities," said Ranking Member Collin Peterson.
The committee adopted, by voice vote, the budget views and estimates letter, which outlines the committee's budget recommendations for the agencies and programs under its jurisdiction for fiscal year 2015. The letter will be submitted to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as required by section 301(d) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as well as House Rule X, clause 4(f). A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
The committee also approved H.R. 935, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act by voice vote. H.R. 935 eliminates a redundant permitting requirement for pesticide applications that are already approved for use under federal statute.
Finally, the committee approved H. Con. Res. 86 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension System. Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson are both original cosponsors of the resolution. Additionally, the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing on March 4 to recognize the contributions of the Cooperative Extension System to agriculture, youth development, and rural communities.