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.
More Agriculture Groups Announce Opposition to Cap & Trade Bill
Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – More agriculture groups are express ing opposition to the Waxman/Markey climate change and energy legislation (H.R. 2454). Since mid-May, 17 more groups have written letters to Members of Congress encouraging them to vote against the measure. To date, no large farm groups have endorsed it. The Waxman-Markey bill was passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee. Elements of the bill have now been referred to eight other committees, including Agriculture, for consideration. The growing chorus of opposition comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems intent to force this bill through the House of Representatives without carefully studying the impact it will have on production agriculture and rural economies. Politico reported yesterday that Rep. Pelosi informed committee chairmen that they had to finish work on the climate and energy bill by June 19.
Meanwhile, this thinking is at odds with members of the agriculture community. In the June 3 Agri-Pulse newsletter, an Iowa farmer attending the Farm Foundation Forum at the National Press Club, is quoted as saying “the biggest hazard for agriculture right now is the rush to legislate.”
“This is an enormous bill with enormous consequences for the American people. The best thing we can do for the American people is allow the legislative process to work by holding hearings and having a markup. We need to take the time to fully understand the impact of this bill. Right now, this bill only serves to create a national energy tax that will hammer rural America with a higher cost of living,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas.