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Ranking Member David Scott Statement Following Testimony by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

  • David Scott

Today, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott released the following statement following an hours-long hearing featuring U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as the star witness. Watch the hearing here.

“Today’s hearing confirmed much of what we already know: Secretary Vilsack is faithfully executing his constitutional duty to America’s farmers and families, and House Republicans remain stuck promoting the same objectionable offsets that Democrats have repeatedly said are problematic.

“If our colleagues across the aisle want to talk about moving all the IRA conservation funding into the baseline of the Conservation Title and maintaining the climate-smart sideboards, that’s a conversation that could be had. Instead, the record should reflect that Republicans are proposing to move money out of these conservation programs into farm bill titles unrelated to conservation. House Democrats have said time and again that IRA conservation funding must stay in conservation. Secretary Vilsack’s testimony today bolstered that position given the large number of American farmers, foresters, and ranchers seeking to participate voluntarily to mitigate climate change in these market-based programs.

“Our friends across the aisle have also made clear they don’t understand the definition of the word ‘cut.’ When CBO projections show that future SNAP recipients will receive fewer food benefits under the Republican ‘budget neutral’ plans for the Thrifty Food Plan, that’s a cut by anybody’s definition. The $30 billion cut to future benefits will over time undermine the nation’s most effective anti-poverty program and hence is a nonstarter. Taking food away from low-income seniors, children, and working families does nothing to improve the efficacy or integrity of the program.

“We thank Secretary Vilsack for his participation in the Agriculture Committee’s hearing today. He came prepared for our questions and those of our Republican colleagues and demonstrated the breadth of knowledge and leadership he has become known for in his stewardship of the USDA during his tenure.”

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