Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
June 16, 2022
Contact Info: 
Raymond Rodriguez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in support of H.R. 7607, the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act. Below is a transcript of his remarks and a link to the video:
 
Click here to watch the full video.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You have done a wonderful job as the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and you are working to bring people together. One of the things I most admire about Chairman Scott is he wants to have a bipartisan result coming out of this Committee and I think in this bill, he has.

“Mr. Speaker, every day Americans across the country must contend with the rising cost of prices caused by inflation. Whenever they pull up to the gas pump, they face Putin’s criminal invasion of Ukraine, which has made gas prices skyrocket, not because of the sanctions or Russia’s production, but because of the lack of confidence in the future that this war has caused. Whenever our people go to the grocery store, they suffer the consequences that the havoc that the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted on global supply chains.


Unfortunately, we cannot erase the past crises. We can, however, ladies and gentlemen of this Congress, take the meaningful steps today to lower prices for consumers and to stimulate Americans’ economy in the weeks and months to come. That's why House Democrats are focusing all week on easing inflation and bringing costs down. I know that's what my Republican colleagues want to do as well. There are no perfect alternatives. This is a positive step towards decreasing the cost to our people of things that they must buy: fuel and food.

“To support that mission, I am proud to bring the Lower Fuel And Food Costs bill to the bill today. America's farmers and ranchers have long fed our nation and indeed much of the world. Despite their essential work, they have often struggled to turn a reliable profit in recent years because of rising expenses, associated particularly with fertilizer, which costs have gone up very substantially as a result of the crises that we confront. By making fertilizer more affordable and by improving farmers’ access for loans to precision agricultural technology, this legislation will help lower these production costs that burden smaller farmers and contribute to higher consumer food prices. Additionally, this will lower gas prices by increasing biofuel adoption and investment and by giving consumers greater fuel choices at the pump.

“Lack of competition in the meat and poultry processing industry has also jeopardized many of our family farmers and the people they feed. Competition is the essence of a free market. Competition is the essence of establishing prices that are reasonable and fair, both to producers and to consumers. Fortunately, Mr. Speaker, this legislation will help level that playing field for small and independent producers trying to break into the industry, which will both boost our meat processing capacity and stoke healthy competition and innovation, which both sides of the aisle believe is the way we have created this extraordinary economy we know as the American economy: competition, free markets.


Similarly, this bill establishes a dedicated office within the Department of Agriculture to strengthen enforcement of existing anti-trust authorities to consult on trade practices ensuring a fair, more competitive industry that works better for consumers. We know that just a few producers have a monopoly and that's one of the problem with oil prices. We have OPEC nations who have constricted supply when demand was up and what inevitably happens in a free market? Prices rise. So this is about free markets and about competition and about fair pricing for consumers.

“These reforms will enable our farmers to produce food more efficiently, driving down costs for Americans at the grocery store. Not only will this legislation help us respond to the ramifications of crises like the pandemic and the war in Ukraine but also make our agricultural sector and economy more resilient to future shocks. This legislation is a crucial step toward reducing inflation, and I thank Representative Spanberger,
Representative Craig, and Representative Axne, and my friends on the Republican side who have worked on this, and my friends on the Democratic side who have worked on this. This is an important piece of legislation for the people.


All of them, all of our Members listen closely to the concerns of their constituents and took an approach to come up with legislation that addresses some of the most pressing needs of the American people. I want to thank the Ranking Member of this committee for his thoughtfulness in approaching this issue. Today, every Member of this House has the opportunity to do something to ease inflation. Every Member has an opportunity to vote to ease inflation today. We are eager to take that action which is why we are bringing this to the Floor and voting to pass it. I hope all of our Members will join us so we can show our constituents that Congress is working together on their behalf, not on our political behalfs, but working together to pass this legislation. I urge my colleagues, vote yes. I yield back the balance of my time.”