House Republicans and industry largely oppose a bill to create a USDA special investigator for meat industry competition—one in a package of more popular Ag bills the House was about to vote on.
Top House Ag Republican Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson told the House Rules Committee, USDA doesn’t need a special investigator to police the meat packing industry, blaming Democrats for trying to shift blame for inflation.
“Industry consolidation in the meat processing sector hasn’t changed in decades…supply chain disruptions, historic inflation are happening now,” says Rep. Thompson. “They’ve been made worse by the war in Ukraine—absolutely—but these prices cannot be mitigated by unfunded mandates, duplicative authorities, politicized agencies and big government—and that’s exactly what this special investigator bill provides.”
Rep. Thompson says USDA already has a division to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act, and argues more bureaucracy and compliance costs will only make inflation worse.
But House Ag Chair David Scott had this on hearings his panel held.
“We have farmers right now, and ranchers, that have not made a profit in five-years…and many of the next generation of these families, are refusing to go into this business. And we also found out that 17-thousand ranching businesses are going out of business every year,” according to Rep. Scott.
The Democrat-controlled Rules Committee sided with Scott and the few Republicans backing the special investigator bill, to send it to the full House.
Democrats rejected GOP motions to separate it from more popular bills to allow summertime E15 sales, boost regional meat processing and find ways to produce more fertilizer domestically.
Rep. Thompson midweek introduced a GOP-only bill he claims will bring down food, fuel and fertilizer prices more quickly.