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Democrats Praise GOP Amendments to Meet COVID Needs of Rural America, Vote Lockstep to Oppose Them

Washington, DC – House Committee on Agriculture Republican Leader Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15) issued the following statement after Committee Democrats passed the Agriculture Committee’s portion of the FY21 budget reconciliation bill on a party-line vote:

“House Democrats made it explicitly clear today there was never any intention to reach across the aisle and that the collective voice of Rural America would be silenced. In one breath, the Chairman and his members praised our amendments, and in the next, they voted against them. They love our ideas and think they are necessary to protect families and the vulnerable from COVID—just not enough to upset Speaker Pelosi’s budget power grab.

I’m proud of our Republican members for putting thoughtful proposals on the table to rein in the Democrats’ bloated bill and elevate the needs of farmers, ranchers, producers, and other communities neglected by this flawed process.

I was also pleased to see Congresswoman Axne join our efforts to expand disaster assistance for producers who suffered disaster losses in 2020.”

The House Agriculture Democrats’ reconciliation measure:

  • Refuses to unfreeze the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program aid which has been held hostage by the Biden Administration, failing to support producers impacted by the pandemic.
  • Fails American workers by prolonging dependence on government programs.
  • Falls brazenly short in meeting the broadband connectivity demands of rural communities.

Committee Republicans offered a number of proposals. However, Democrats:

  • Refused significant funding for employment and training that would have provided communities and individuals the support and new skills, and frankly, the chance, needed in a post-pandemic economy.
  • Opposed efforts to return critical agricultural research to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Shot down an amendment to invest in the connectivity needs of Rural America, describing it as a “poison pill.”
  • Could not answer simple questions about what the needs of rural America are or who the proposals in their bill would benefit.
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