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.
House Ag Committee Approves Farm Bill With Significant Savings & Reforms
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and Ranking Member Collin Peterson of Minnesota issued the following statements after the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, by a large, bipartisan vote of 36-10. Committee Members also adopted, by voice vote, an en bloc amendment.
"I am proud of the Committee's effort to advance a farm bill with significant savings and reforms. We achieve nearly $40 billion in savings by eliminating outdated government programs and reforming others. No other committee in Congress is voluntarily cutting money, in a bipartisan way, from its jurisdiction to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues and the bipartisan nature in which this legislation was written and approved. I look forward to debating the bill on the House floor this summer," said Chairman Frank Lucas.
"I’m pleased the Committee was able to work together, find some common ground, and advance a five-year farm bill today. Needless to say this process has gone on far too long and it is past time to get this bill done. With today’s action, I’m optimistic the farm bill will continue through regular order and be brought to the House floor in June. If we can stay on track, I think we should be able to conference with the Senate in July and have a new five-year farm bill in place before the August recess," said Ranking Member Collin Peterson
For more information on the FARRM Act, including en bloc amendment details click here.
- FARRM saves nearly $40 billion in mandatory funds, including the immediate sequestration of $6 billion.
- FARRM repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs.
- FARRM eliminates direct payments, which farmers received regardless of market conditions.
- FARRM streamlines and reforms commodity policy while also giving producers a choice in how best to manage risk.
- FARRM includes the first reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, saving more than $20 billion.
- FARRM consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13, improving program delivery to producers and saving more than $6 billion.
- FARRM builds on previous investments to fruit and vegetable production, farmers markets, and local food systems.
- FARRM includes several regulatory relief measures to help mitigate burdens farmers, ranchers, and rural communities face.