Agriculture is a key component of Michigan’s economy. After all, agriculture is the second largest industry in Michigan and the state is also the second most agriculturally diverse in the country. During the challenging economic times that have plagued the Michigan economy, the steady growth of our agricultural sector has kept our economy afloat. To maintain this edge, I believe we must:
Prevent Undue Regulations
The safety of our food supply can benefit from standard rules and practices, and our farmers are committed to producing safe and affordable food for consumers. However, our farmers need to have fair and commonsense rules to live by, and I oppose excessive regulations that hinder the agricultural community like the EPA’s overreaching “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule.
To that end, in April 2015 I introduced H.R. 1993, the Flexibility to Farm Act, a bill supported by Michigan’s agricultural community which protects farmers from the EPA’s one-size-fits-all approach by entrusting our states with appropriate flexibility to opt-out of overly burdensome regulations. Additionally, in May 2015, I voted in support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, to preserve the existing federal-state partnership of regulating waters and require the EPA to rescind the WOTUS proposal. I remain concerned about the EPA’s covert efforts to promote the WOTUS rule, and have championed legislation to ensure federal agencies do not engage in illegal lobbying. My bipartisan bill, H.R. 5226, the Regulatory Integrity Act, increases transparency in the rulemaking process to prevent future misconduct. It passed the House in September 2016.
Not only does south-central Michigan produce the widest array of agricultural products, it produces some of the best. It is important that we adopt policies that allow our farmers and producers to look outside our region and beyond to sell food and agricultural products. By advancing trade policies that are free, fair, and enforced, we can open new markets for Michigan-made products.
Provide Greater Certainty
Farmers and agricultural producers carefully plan over the long-term to provide our nation and the world with an abundant, healthy food supply. For too long, Congress promoted uncertainty in the countryside through short-term extensions of our agricultural policy. I was proud to support the Agricultural Act of 2014, a five-year farm bill which makes common-sense reforms to our nation's agriculture policy, saves $26 billion, and allows our farmers to manage risk with long-term certainty.
05/13/16 – Sponsored: H.R. 5226, Regulatory Integrity Act
04/23/15 – Sponsored: H.R. 1993, the Flexibility to Farm Act
07/21/15 – Sponsored: H.R. 3120, Great Lakes Assurance Program Verification Act
02/04/16 – Cosponsored: H.Res.591, Recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the Farm Credit System
01/14/15 – Cosponsored: H.R. 349, Great Lakes and Fresh Water Algal Bloom Information Act
01/28/15 – Cosponsored: H.R. 594, Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act
03/13/15 – Cosponsored: H.R. 1105, Death Tax Repeal Act
05/18/15 – Cosponsored: H.R. 2393, Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act