Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Republican Leader Glenn 'GT' Thompson Full Committee Hearing: Member Day

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Washington, May 18, 2021 | comments
Remarks as prepared for delivery:

I’d like to start by thanking our fellow Committee members for joining us today.

And my gratitude to those who are not members of this Committee but who have made agriculture a priority by joining us today.

Mr. Chairman, I would be remiss if I did not take this time to also reflect on the Committee’s work in the months ahead.

The only legislation to advance through our Committee so far during this Congress was the reconciliation instructions reported in February.

Members on both sides of the aisle were shut out of that process, and many important, timely priorities for rural America were denied consideration. Both the process and resulting policy product left much to be desired.

I think we will hear a similar message in testimony today. And this testimony must not only inform, but act as a guide to the future work of this Committee.

Mr. Chairman, this is the opportunity to course correct. The manner and process by which this Committee conducts its business should reflect all of the priorities and needs of our producers and rural families.

As a start, I’d like to suggest we invite Secretary Vilsack to testify before the Committee. We are long overdue in our farm bill oversight and implementation duties, and are getting closer every day to defeating a virus that has decimated our farms, families, and economy. I am certain the Secretary has much to say on both.

In fact, hearing views of the administration on so many matters is long-overdue. This Committee has barely scratched the surface of COVID-related matters, let alone anything related to the 2018 farm bill.

So, I would also ask that we invite the various agencies within the Department, as well as the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to participate in similar hearings. Their expertise is imperative to this Committee’s progress. 

Your commitment to doing so would mean so much to me, as well as our Members and the communities they serve.

With that, I am pleased to welcome my colleagues this morning, and look forward to their testimony. I yield back.

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