House passes bill to lower prices and support farmers
ST. PAUL – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, H.R. 7606, a package of bills aimed at lowering prices for consumers in the grocery aisle and at the gas pump. The act passed 221-204.
“I am glad to see the House taking action to lower costs for consumers and increase opportunities for family farmers,” said Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Gary Wertish. “Biofuel plants are an important market for Minnesota corn and soybean growers and biofuels are better for our environment. Plus, it’s another way to buy local and support local economies. I’m also encouraged by the action to improve market competition and hope the Senate acts swiftly and sends this legislation to President Biden for his signature.”
The act contains several provisions supported by MFU and National Farmers Union (NFU), including the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act, the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act and the Strengthening the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Act.
“Farmers Union members stand firm in their fight against consolidation and corporate monopolies in agriculture, and the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act takes concrete actions to give farmers a leg up,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “Now that the House has taken this important step forward, we encourage the Senate to send this to President Biden swiftly. Further efforts to provide greater market transparency, protections for independent farmers and ranchers, and antitrust enforcement, are also needed, but today’s passage of H.R. 7606 is great progress.”
The Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act, sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., gives USDA additional authority to investigate consolidation and anti-competitive practices in the meat industry.
The Year-Round Fuel Choice Act, sponsored by Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., would allow the year-round sale of E15. Earlier this year, President Biden’s administration allowed E15 to be sold during the summer driving season. The Year-Round Fuel Choice Act would make the action permanent.
The Strengthening the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Act, also sponsored by Craig, would create a task force dedicated to strengthening the agricultural supply chain in order to prevent bottlenecks and lower food costs.
“Every day, Americans are calling on their elected leaders to take decisive action to combat surging prices at the checkout line and at the pump. And today, we responded to that call by passing a major bipartisan bill to ensure the accessibility of affordable, homegrown American biofuels and to shore up the American food supply chain,” Craig said.
This effort to fight consolidation and increase market competition is part of a broader Fairness for Farmers campaign launched by National Farmers Union. Learn more about the campaign at https://nfu.org/fairness-for-farmers/.
About Minnesota Farmers Union
Minnesota Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. MFU is a nonprofit membership-based organization. Membership is open to everyone. Learn more and join at www.mfu.org, and follow MFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org).