WASHINGTON, June 12 – With the U.S. Senate aiming to start debate on the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 perhaps as early as today, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R- Ky, says he and his fellow Republicans will be focused on providing farmers and ranchers with regulatory relief.
“The biggest threat to farmers in Kentucky and across America are this administration’s job-killing regulations,” noted McConnell during a Senate floor speech this morning. “That’s why Republicans are calling for votes on common sense amendments that would either eliminate or prevent future job-killing regulations from going into effect, which would provide the necessary relief for American farmers, and give a boost to rural America in these challenging economic times.
“Last year, while visiting Atkinson, IL, the President blew off one farmer when he asked about costly regulations,” recalled McConnell. “The President said, ‘Don’t always believe what you hear.’
McConnell’s comments come just one day after the Obama Administration made a strong push to outline how they have helped improved the rural economy. For more on that story: http://www.agri-pulse.com/Obama-Administration-plans-to-Invest_over-06112012.asp
Kentucky’s senior Senator called for reducing the size and scope of government and putting in place pro-growth policies to allow the private sector to flourish. He outlined five amendments that the GOP wants to offer during the farm bill debate.
“Last fall, the Department of Labor attempted to regulate the relationship shared between parents and their kids on family farms. The proposed rule would have prohibited those under age 16 from manual labor like stall cleaning, using a shovel and using a battery-operated screwdriver. Many Kentuckians consider this type of manual labor Saturday morning chores.”
Senator Thune plans to offer an amendment that would require the Department of Labor to consult with Congress before implementing such regulations.
“The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wants to lift the ban that prevents Washington, DC bureaucrats from regulating non-navigable waters. The expanded federal jurisdiction would bring the EPA and their red tape and taxes into the backyards of millions of Americans. The economic impact would be disastrous.
McConnell said Senators Paul and Barrasso want to offer two amendments that would stop the EPA from lifting the ban.
Although EPA officials have repeatedly said that they are no longer planning to regulate farm dust, McConnell said that the agency is considering a regulation to lower the amount of dust created by agriculture production practices.
Senator Johanns is offering an amendment that would prevent the EPA from issuing any new rule that regulates agriculture dust.
“Finally, Senator Crapo and Senator Johanns are offering an amendment that would help farmers across the country continue to manage their unique business risks associated with their day to day operations. The amendment would prevent unnecessarily diverting capital away from job creation and investing in their businesses in a way that was never intended by the sponsors of the Dodd-Frank Act. Preventing this unnecessary burden would promote economic growth, protect farmers and businesses, and ultimately help save American jobs,” McConnell added.
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