WASHINGTON — Today, during a House Agriculture Committee markup, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) helped advance six bipartisan bills to combat inflation, promote competition and shore up ag supply chains. Among the legislation passed was the Strengthening the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Act, cosponsored by Bustos to create a dedicated task force focused on resolving issues in the food supply chain that are increasing prices for consumers.
“As consumers struggle with rising food prices, it’s essential that we address the issues in our supply chains that are driving up costs,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Today, members from both sides of the aisle came together to pass six bills that will help address inflation, increase competition and get our supply chains back on track. With these bills we can support our farmers and growers – all while lowering costs for hardworking families.”
Highlights of the bills can be found below:
- The Producing Responsible Energy and Conservation Incentives and Solutions for the Environment (PRECISE) Act helps family farmers access precision agriculture technology through existing Farm Bill programs.
- The Sponsoring USDA Sustainability Targets in Agriculture to Incentivize Natural Solutions (SUSTAINS) Act of 2021 encourages private-sector partnerships for agriculture sustainability by allowing businesses to invest in conservation practices in the geographic regions of their choice. The bill also would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to match these funds.
- The Butcher Block Act would help rebalance the U.S. cattle market by easing regulatory barriers and improving access to meat processing grants for small processors.
- The Strengthening the Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Act would create a dedicated task force designed to shore up the American food supply chain, increase government coordination and provide recommendations to Congress to prevent future supply chain issues.
- The Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022 would establish a new “Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters” within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Packers and Stockyards Division. This new USDA Special Investigator would focus on preventing shortages, enforcing America’s antitrust laws and holding bad actors in the meat and poultry industry accountable.
- A bill to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to provide additional payments under the environmental quality incentives program for implementation of a nutrient management practice, and for other purposes would authorize $750 million under USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to incentivize nutrient management planning and offset the high costs of fertilizer.