Lucas: The Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act A Disingenuous Approach to Addressing Inflation, Agriculture Production 

Jun 16, 2022
Agriculture
Press

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) today spoke on the House Floor in opposition to H.R. 7606, the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act. Long before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, America’s farm families and consumers were struggling with fractured supply chains, skyrocketing input costs, and historic levels of inflation, each of which continue to contribute to increased food prices and diminished inventories. Despite these crises, the Democrat Majority and Biden Administration have pursued a spending and regulatory agenda that compounds the situation and further limits American farmers’ ability to meet global food demand.

Lucas recently joined House Agriculture Committee Republican Leader Glenn “GT” Thompson in sending a letter to President Biden urging his Administration to reduce regulatory barriers impacting American agriculture production.

Yesterday, Lucas joined House Agriculture Committee Republican Leader Glenn “GT” Thompson in introducing H.R. 8069, the Reducing Farm Input Costs and Barriers to Domestic Production Act.  The bill requires the Biden Administration to reverse its regulatory barriers to domestic agriculture production and provide immediate relief to families across the country.

Watch Congressman Lucas’ remarks here or by clicking the image above.

Lucas’ remarks as prepared:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 7606 because American farmers and ranchers deserve real assistance, real relief, and real policy solutions. 

To understand my opposition, you must understand the part of the country that I represent and was raised in. The Third District of Oklahoma was the epicenter of the drought, dust bowl and economic depression of the 1930’s. 

This was a time when horrible weather conditions collided with misguided federal ag and misguided federal monetary policy to create an environment that profoundly changed the region that my family has called home for over 120 years. 

I was raised on these stories, and it was their experiences that shaped my view on what the role of the Federal government should be. 

The Federal government should be passing and enacting policies that help people and businesses- not hinder them. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration and House Democrats seem to not hold that same view. 

During the past five years American farmers and ranchers have weathered volatile world markets, devastating natural disasters, prolonged droughts, supply chain disruptions, ever-increasing input costs and soaring inflation.

Yet the only thing the Biden Administration and House Democrats seem interested in doing is increasing regulatory burdens, limiting access to fuel, and passing spending packages that fuel inflation.

Mr. Speaker, if House Democrats were truly interested in providing relief for American farmers and ranchers, they would join my Republican colleagues and I in calling for the Biden Administration to reinstate the Trump-era Waters of the United States rule and rescind the Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule. 

If Democrats were interested in reducing the cost of on farm inputs like fertilizer and fuel, they would work with us to restore and expand domestic energy production. They would join us in calling for the Biden Administration to rescind the SEC’s proposed rule on climate-related disclosure. 

This rule is not only a ploy to divert capital from traditional energy investments, it also would require farmers, regardless of size, to track and report environmental data to the public companies with which they work.

Finally, House Democrats are touting this bill as a solution to issue of consolidation within the meatpacking industry. As we all know the DOJ is in the middle of an ongoing investigation into the meatpacking industry, an investigation that was launched under the Trump Administration. 

I feel strongly that if there is collusion, manipulation, or other wrongdoing by packers, then the existing law should be enforced under the existing authorities at USDA and DOJ. 

Changing those authorities or laws during the middle of an ongoing investigation only helps to confuse and complicate the eventual DOJ findings. 

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this messaging bill and join me in calling for real solutions for American farmers and ranchers.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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