Republican Leader of the House Agriculture Committee Glenn “GT” Thompson testified in front of the House Rules Committee this evening against H.R. 5376, the Democrats’ sham reconciliation bill.
Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, thank you for the opportunity to speak before you today.
Mr. Chairman, I am at a loss for words for today’s meeting and having to testify as Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee.
The Committee on Agriculture marked up our reconciliation instructions in a hurry on September 10. We were in such a hurry, in fact, that the Committee Print didn’t include nearly one-third of the spending we now see before us today because we did not have time to figure out the CBO issues.
During the markup, the Republicans offered a motion to postpone until September 20 so our Members could have their say in all the spending that would be within our Committee’s jurisdiction.
That motion was voted down by the Democrats even after several of their Members also lamented the fact that we were marking up incomplete language.
It is now October 28. And here we are again in a hurry, governed by yet another artificial deadline. We have had this language for 1 HOUR. And I can tell you that it is significantly different from what my Committee sent to the Budget Committee in September.
And I would bet that it will probably change again. Why the rush? Why the secrecy? What is stopping us from taking the time to build bipartisan support and vet this unprecedented amount of spending?
We were left to assume the missing billions and relevant policy would be added at the Rules Committee. For the record, our Majority has NEVER given us the complete text of the provisions within the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee.
I am frustrated on the grounds of process—an issue I’d hope the Rules Committee could appreciate.
Respectfully, Mr. Chairman, this is a dereliction of process. In fact, dereliction is an understatement. It is blatant abuse. Your Committee and mine have become pawns in this process.
Now we must all sit idly by as the provisions in our Committee’s jurisdiction are crafted behind closed doors by individuals who could not care less about the many crises impacting rural America.
So despite the billions in spending in this bill, this Majority somehow managed to again ignore the needs of rural America.
From rural broadband to disaster assistance, the safety net to COVID relief, this Majority has neglected these needs. These are urgent issues that demand bipartisan solutions.
Adding insult to injury, despite my many requests, members of the Majority have refused to commit to me that any offsets included in any package would not financially devastate our family farms.
I fear these impending tax policies, shrouded in secrecy, will destroy farm families.
For example, a recent study has shown these policies could add $1.4 million to the average tax liability for a farm family.
Mr. Chairman, from where I sit, Democrat leadership does not care about the Committee you and I both sit on and they do not represent interests of the backbone of this nation: farmers, ranchers, foresters, and rural communities.
So, they continue to ignore the plight of the very people that feed, clothe, and fuel our great nation, through shoddy process, careless legislation, and exorbitant spending.
With that, I am committed to ensuring the American public knows how these destructive policies and this broken process, or lack thereof, will crush their livelihoods and saddle future generations with debt and irreversible government overreach.
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