In January, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) promised that his main focus would be to "ensure that American farmers and ranchers would have the policies in place that they need to feed, fuel, and clothe the nation while ensuring stability and consistency for farmers, ranchers, consumers, markets and rural communities."
So far in 2015, the Agriculture Committee has presented nine bills -- eight that passed the House and one that was signed into law. In 33 hearings, the committee has addressed many issues with a special focus on the state of the rural economy, which has seen a 43 percent decline in net farm income in the last two years because of falling prices.
Conaway also pledged to reauthorize all of the expiring or expired programs and agencies; through the committee’s work, all programs and agencies have legislation that has moved toward reauthorization in the Senate.
“We have approved legislation to create a federal preemption blocking state and local biotech labeling regimes; two forestry bills; two Commodities Exchange Act bills; legislation to bring the U.S. into compliance on mandatory country of origin labeling; and reauthorization of Mandatory Price Reporting and the U.S. Grain Standards Act, where we aim to prevent another Vancouver port situation," Conaway said.
The committee focused this summer on a review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the U.S. international food aid programs. The U.S is the leader in providing international food aid and the committee is committed to monitoring changes made in the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Conaway said the Agricultural Committee will continue to focus on the widening gap between urban and rural farmers and the congressional representation of rural farmers.
Organizations in this story
House Committee on Agriculture 1301 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 2051 ,
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