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 Statement on Failure of Senate Democrats to Pass a Sequester Replacement Bill
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Frank Lucas released the following statement after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a replacement bill for the sequester that is slated to take effect March 1.
"It is disappointing that the Senate has failed to pass a replacement for the sequester, and more importantly has failed to pass a budget in nearly four years. But, I am pleased they rejected the Reid-Stabenow plan, which unfairly targeted agriculture. America's farmers and ranchers deserve better than to be used as a pawn in a political game.
"The agriculture portion of their proposal called for a 50 percent cut to a single title in the farm bill that accounts for six percent of overall agriculture spending and less than one percent of overall federal spending. Further, the Reid-Stabenow proposal called for tax increases while adding money to a laundry list of pet projects.
"Our agricultural producers remain committed to being a part of the solution to our fiscal crisis, but a plan that is made up of half tax increases and half cuts to agriculture and defense is an absurd approach to balancing a budget."
Sequestration is an across-the-board reduction in spending mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. In an effort to turn off sequestration, which is estimated at $85.3 billion for fiscal year 2013, the Senate Democrats proposed raising taxes, cutting defense spending, and cutting the traditional farm safety net. The proposed cuts to the traditional farm safety net are $31 billion, which is a 53 percent reduction.