The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday passed the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, a diverse package of initiatives from meat packing plants to year round E15, despite opposition by the majority of Republicans. The final vote was 221-204, with seven Republicans siding with the majority and five Democrats voting against the bill.
The act includes a package of ag-related legislation, including the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act and the Butcher Block Act, focused on meat packing and cattle marketing; the PRECISE Act, aimed at access to precision agriculture technology, legislation to support specialty and row crop farmers facing skyrocketing fertilizer prices, and the Strengthening the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Act. In addition, it includes the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act to expand voluntary sales of E-15 gasoline and a bill to expand biofuel infrastructure funding.
Debate pitted the leaders of the normally bipartisan House Agriculture Committee against each other, with Chairman David Scott (D-GA) supporting the bill against minority leader Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA).
Listen to Scott and Thompson’s opening floor remarks on the bill:
House Food and Fuel Costs Bill - Rep. David Scott 9:40
The legislation includes two bills by Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) – the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act and the Strengthening the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Act.
Listen to Craig’s remarks on the House floor in support of the legislation.
House Food and Fuel bill - Rep. Angie Craig 2:00
The seven Republicans who voted for the bill were all from major biofuels producing states – Don Bacon of Nebraska; Randy Feenstra, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Ashley Hinson of Iowa; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, and Dusty Johnson of South Dakota. But the debate heard some lawmakers outside the Midwest advocating for greater use of biofuels to lower gas prices, like Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, who stressed the environmental benefits of ethanol in addition to the cost savings for consumers.
Listen to Pallone’s remarks on the House floor in support of the legislation.
House Food and Fuel bill - Rep. Frank Pallone 2:52