House Agriculture Committee

Miller defeats fellow House Ag member Davis in Illinois district

First-term Rep. Mary Miller easily won the Republican nomination to the House over veteran Rep. Rodney Davis in an Illinois primary election that she framed as a test of loyalty to Donald Trump. The former president endorsed Miller. Davis was one of 35 House Republicans to vote for creation of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

House Republicans oppose USDA meat investigator as poison pill

The House will vote as early as Tuesday on legislation to create a USDA special investigator to enforce fair-play laws in the meat industry despite last-ditch Republican efforts to quash the proposal. The White House announced its support on Monday for the package, which would also allow …

House Democrats unveil ‘lower food and fuel costs’ bill

The House could vote as early as next week on an omnibus bill that would allow summertime sale of E15, create a special investigator’s office at the USDA to enforce fair-play laws in meatpacking, and help farmers adopt so-called precision agriculture technology.

SNAP costs too much, program needs revisions, say House Republicans

Warning that “pandemic aid is morphing into endemic aid,” the Republican leader on the House Agriculture Committee said on Wednesday that it was time to rein in food stamp spending. Other farm-state Republicans called for stricter eligibility rules as a way to push people into the workforce and said SNAP “promotes a perverse business of poverty.”

House Ag chairman Scott coasts to nomination

House Agriculture chairman David Scott easily won nomination for his 11th term in Congress from a suburban Atlanta district, defeating three challengers during Georgia's primary elections on Tuesday.

Party-line vote sends livestock reform bill to House floor

The House Agriculture Committee approved legislation on Wednesday to create a special investigator’s office at the Agriculture Department to enforce fair-play laws in the highly concentrated meat industry. Cleared for a House vote on a party-line, 27-21 roll call, the bill, HR 7606, is the strongest competition bill to advance in this session of Congress.

House panel approves bill to expand meat processing capacity

Congress would create a loan and guarantee program to expand competition in the meat processing industry under a bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. The bill would authorize up $20 million a year through 2024 for the loan guarantees.

In SNAP hearing on farm bill, lawmakers spar over food assistance

With farm bill reauthorization coming up next year, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Thursday focusing on SNAP, which accounts for nearly 80 percent of the bill’s budget. But foreshadowing what could be a messy process, Democratic and Republican lawmakers staked out familiar ground and sparred over the food assistance program.

Packers: ‘We’re not to blame for high meat prices’

The chief executives of the nation’s four largest meatpacking companies said on Wednesday that they were not the cause of surging meat prices at the grocery store, which are up by 15 percent in a year. And they told a skeptical House Agriculture chairman David Scott there was no pact to drive up profits at the expense of consumers or limit the meat supply for Americans.

Election outlook softens for two House Democratic aggies

The political environment looks promising for Republicans in the House, said Sabato’s Crystal Ball on Wednesday. The political newsletter said two Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee, Sanford Bishop and Antonio Delgado, are facing races that have become more competitive than they once were.

Meatpacking leaders to speak at House hearing on industry concentration

The chief executive officers of Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS, and National Beef — the four largest meatpackers in the country — will testify at a House Agriculture Committee hearing on consolidation in the meat industry, said chairman David Scott.

USDA is ‘lone wolf’ inventing climate program on its own, says GOP

The senior Republican on the House Agriculture Committee accused the USDA of exceeding its authority — "We're the ones that authorize programs"— by launching a $1 billion initiative to develop climate-smart commodities on Tuesday. A senior Republican on the committee joined the attack, asking, "How can a $1 billion program even be described as a pilot program?"

Aid ‘natural climate solutions’ with bigger USDA stewardship spending, says report

Congress should substantially increase — as much as double — funding for USDA stewardship programs that encourage climate mitigation and help farmers make money from climate-smart practices, said a Washington think tank on Wednesday.

Agriculture has ‘unfinished business’ in Sino-U.S. trade, says Vilsack

Although China purchased a record amount of U.S. farm exports over the past two years, it wasn't enough to comply with the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday. "We obviously have some unfinished business with reference to phase one," Vilsack told lawmakers a day after President Biden pointed to Chinese shortfalls.

Ethanol producers to electric car makers: We’re greener than you are

With automakers shifting toward the production of electric cars and trucks, the ethanol industry said on Wednesday that biofuels will be an important tool against global warming, and arguably create less pollution than battery-powered vehicles. The comparison was based on life-cycle costs for the power sources, starting at power stations for electricity and corn fields for ethanol.

House Republicans target Sanford Bishop, Democrat who oversees USDA funding

The campaign committee for House Republicans put Georgia Rep. Sanford Bishop, chairman of the Appropriations panel that oversees USDA and FDA spending, on its list of Democratic targets for the 2022 midterm elections. "In a cycle like this, no Democrat is safe," said Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, on Wednesday.

Cattle contract bill is first market reform to win House panel backing

On a voice vote, the House Agriculture Committee approved a bipartisan bill on Thursday to create a cattle contract library at the USDA, with one proponent saying it would "inject much-needed transparency back into the marketplace." The bill was the first market reform to gain traction in Congress this year despite complaints by ranchers that meatpackers have an unfair advantage in an opaque sales system.

Lawmakers shrug at Grassley call for livestock reform

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley urged reauthorization of mandatory price reporting, telling the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday that it is the ideal vehicle for ensuring cattle producers get a fair price from meatpackers. But few committee members got on board with the idea, preferring to switch topics and complain that the USDA's proposals for fair play in the marketplace would boomerang and mean lower sales prices.

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