WASHINGTON—During a U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hearing to consider the nomination of the next chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) continued his push for the committee to hold hearings on the Democrat’s reconciliation package.
“The committee, of recent, has strayed from its traditions, and I fear the consequences to American agriculture, our farmers, ranchers and rural communities. In the last 40 years, in this committee, regardless of the party that controlled the Senate, there was some level of bipartisan input into the reconciliation process. That tradition ended this year,” Boozman said during his opening remarks. “Consideration of the agriculture provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act earlier this year, and the current reconciliation legislation represent the first time in more than 40 years the leadership of this committee has chosen to abandon our bipartisan traditions.”
Prior to this year, the last time the Senate agriculture committee was given reconciliation instructions was in 2005. The Democrats are writing their second reconciliation bill of the year and yet to convene the committee to consider it in any fashion. Every Republican member of the committee signed a letter to Chairwoman Stabenow asking for public hearings with stakeholder input and a business meeting to consider improvements to the bill.
During his opening remarks, Ranking Member Boozman stressed that stakeholder input was the key to passing legislation that works, and listening to the committee’s constituency is vital to ensure the committee functions properly.
“Many of our fellow citizens who live in rural America believe that people in Washington think, and I stress think, they know what is best for our farm families and our rural communities. There is a feeling among many of the people who do not live in our nation’s cities that their political leaders do not value their expertise, or their opinions, and do not understand their lives,” Boozman said. “When the Senate agriculture committee decides to forgo the expertise and opinion of those we are entrusted to represent, we are not living up to what should be our commitment to our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.”