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.
Lucas to Obama: Where are you getting your information?
Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Member Frank Lucas responded to a speech President Barack Obama gave to promote the Waxman-Markey bill (H.R. 2454). Below are some excerpts from the speech accompanied by information that contradicts the President's remarks.
“I don’t know where the President is getting his information, but the record speaks for itself. The Waxman-Markey bill remains the single, largest, economic threat to farmers and rural Americans in decades. And, the speed in which this bill is moving through Congress is a disgrace to the American people,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas.
President Obama: “Instead of increasing the deficit, it’s paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions”
• Senator Obama as a candidate for President told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2008 that “under [his] plan of a cap and tax system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…that will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers…”
• In a CNBC interview yesterday, Warren Buffet said cap and trade is “a huge tax…and…a fairly regressive tax.” It will mean “very poor people are going to pay a lot more for electricity.”
• Two weeks ago at a public hearing, the Fertilizer Institute told the full Agriculture Committee that this bill “would place U.S. fertilizer producers at a competitive disadvantage and force them to make a stark choice between losing market share to imports or moving production overseas.”
• Everyone who consumes energy is going to pay.
President Obama: “This legislation has been written carefully to express the concerns of the past.”
• The bill that Congress will vote on was not made available until two days ago and had grown by several hundred pages.
• The Agriculture Committee did not see Rep. Collin Peterson’s amendment to the bill until this morning, which is one day before the full House is expected to vote on this legislation.
• Only one of nine committees with jurisdiction over this bill has been able to hold a markup because Speaker Nancy Pelosi told committee chairmen they had until June 19 to consider H.R. 2454.
• The Agriculture Committee has been able to hold only one public hearing on the bill.
President Obama: “It gives rural communities and farmers the opportunity to participate in climate solutions and generate new income.”
• A Heritage Foundation study shows that farmers’ average net income will drop by 57 percent by 2035. Also, by 2035, gasoline and diesel costs are expected to be 58 percent higher and electric rates 90 percent higher.
• Secretary Vilsack told the Agriculture Committee that USDA had not done an economic analysis of how this bill will impact farmers, but said “I think it is fair to say there may be additional costs associated with a farming operation, but it is very difficult to quantify.”
President Obama: “This legislation is so balanced and sensible; it’s already attracted a remarkable coalition of consumer and environmental groups, labor, and business leaders, Democrats and Republicans.”
• 116 agriculture and food groups have publicly opposed this bill. Even with Rep. Peterson’s amendment, the American Farm Bureau Federation said it could not support the bill because “there are simply too many flaws in the underlying bill.”