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Ranking Member David Scott Opening Statement at Business Meeting

WASHINGTON – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott delivered the following statement at today's business meeting:

[As prepared for delivery]

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I am pleased I was able to work with the Chairman in the drafting of this letter. We worked to highlight the issues facing agriculture and rural America in our comments to the Budget Committee. I am excited to take on the farm bill together and hope to continue to engage in the traditional, Agriculture Committee bipartisan manner that serves all Americans.

Just as our farmers have been impacted by rising input costs, our SNAP recipients have similarly been affected by inflation and the increased cost of food associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the avian bird flu killing our poultry flocks.

I am grateful for the Administration’s implementation of the science-based Thrifty Food Plan to ensure Americans enrolled in SNAP can afford healthy, nutritious food and ease the burden of inflation on SNAP recipients. We continue to be impressed by the impact of SNAP in each of our districts, which returns an estimated $1.50 to the national economy for every dollar spent during economic downturns. Rural communities especially see the value of this program, which directly increases rural employment and economic output.

My dear friend, Chairman Thompson, I think we agree that farm families across the country need support from us in the farm bill. We need to ensure our safety net functions effectively and that American farmers are not pushed out of business by disasters, low prices, high input costs, consolidation, or unfair markets. I hope to specifically provide additional support to our small cattle farmers and ranchers.

We have other segments of the agriculture industry that will also be asking for additional funding to address their priorities, and I hope that our colleagues on the Budget Committee will take note of these requests and give us the funding we need to write this farm bill.

Mr. Chairman, I am honored to work with you on these important issues, and I now yield back.
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