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Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Chairman, this amendment prevents any taxpayer funds from being used to implement the Department of Agriculture's new rule and regulation titled Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation.

Mr. Chairman, we've had this debate on cap-and-trade in the last Congress. In fact, there was a bipartisan coalition of Members that voted and ultimately defeated the cap-and-trade proposal by President Obama brought in the last Congress. And yet here we now have a new regulation that was just issued by the Department of Agriculture less than 2 weeks ago to implement, in essence, a back-door attempt to put a cap-and-trade program in place in the Department of Agriculture.

And if you'll look at some of the details laid out in this policy statement, this is a regulation that was just implemented by the Department of Agriculture. It gives new powers to the Department to go into areas where right now we, as a Congress, have said we don't want the administration to be going.

In fact, if you'll look at what agencies like the EPA are doing in trying to implement other forms of cap-and-trade, global warming, carbon emission-type programs, we've been rolling those agencies back. We've been having hearings that have showed how this is not only bad policy but this will kill jobs in America.

And so if you look at some of the provisions in this, the policy establishes a USDA-wide directive to integrate climate change adaptation planning into USDA programs, policies, and operations.

Mr. Chairman, it further goes on, it actually gives new powers to the agency. It says every single office shall identify for USDA's Office of the General Counsel areas where legal analysis is needed to carry out actions identified under this Department regulation.

Now, what does that mean? Well, if you just look at what these types of policies and regulations are being used to do at EPA, what it does is give the authority for USDA lawyers to go and issue findings that can then be used against our farmers, findings that will cost our farmers jobs, increase the price of food.

And don't just look at what this policy does. Look at what's happening in some of the other agencies where they're already trying to carry this out, and Congress has been trying to roll them back.

And so at a time when we're broke--42 cents of every dollar we spend is borrowed money--this new regulation creates and references all of these new offices, the Climate Change Program Office. It says they've got to develop a USDA climate change adaptation plan. It references the USDA's global change task force.

In fact, if you look, after they released this new regulation, they issued $7.4 million to implement a bunch of new grants that are being used to do things like study carbon credits.

Well, again, that was all brought up in cap-and-trade and rejected by Congress. And yet here they come with a de facto, back-door attempt at another cap-and-trade-type of program.

We've got to stop this attack on our job creators. We've got to stop, in this case, the attack that's being proposed on our farmers. They actually are now spending millions of dollars, the USDA is, to study how farmers can grow crops in 2050, based on what they think the climate will be under these new regulations.

Look, our local weatherman can't tell us what the weather's going to be this Saturday, within a 50 percent margin of error. And yet the Department's spending millions of dollars to tell us what the climate's going to be in 39 years to determine how our farmers should be growing crops. This is ludicrous. We rejected it here in Congress. We shouldn't be allowing these kinds of regulations to be implemented. And hopefully this amendment will get adopted.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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