Congressman Bob Goodlatte released a statement today after a House Judiciary Committee mark-up of H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013. Congressman Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced an amendment that would ensure regulations imposed under the FARRM Act are subject to promulgation under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Congressional Review Act, which falls under the jurisdiction of the House Judiciary Committee. The version of the bill reported by the House Agriculture Committee last month waived this requirement. Congressman Goodlatte's amendment passed the House Judiciary Committee by voice vote with bipartisan support. Congressman Goodlatte's statement is below:
"Plain and simple, this is a matter of transparency and accountability within the federal rulemaking process. Given the broad changes and economic impacts that programs in the FARRM Act will bring to America's farmers and ranchers, I believe that the public deserves a full and fair opportunity to comment on the regulations that will determine how these programs will be run. That's why I brought this amendment before the Committee today to ensure that the USDA promulgates these regulations under -- not exempt from -- the Administrative Procedure Act and the Congressional Review Act.
"To be clear, while this amendment makes important changes to preserve the rulemaking and review requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Congressional Review Act, it does not solve what many believe are the fundamental problems with the Dairy Market Stabilization Program. I do not believe that the Dairy Market Stabilization Program and supply management for dairy should be a part of this legislation, and I will address this when the legislation is brought to the House floor. However, at minimum Congress should ensure that those affected by this intrusive program have the right to comment on regulations governing the program and that Congress also reserves the right to review the program."