June 19, 2013
Today, the House will consider H.R. 1947, the “Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013.”
As part of House Republicans’ effort to combat unnecessary spending and burdensome federal regulations, Representative Flores (TX-17) has sponsored an amendment that would require the USDA Inspector General (IG) to prepare and submit a report detailing all activities engaged in and resources expended in furtherance of the President’s National Ocean Policy as well as any FY2014 budget requests in support of implementation.
Established by Executive Order and without clear statutory authority, the National Ocean Policy sets up a new level of federal bureaucracy with control over the way inland, ocean and coastal activities are managed. This has the potential to inflict damage across a spectrum of sectors including agriculture, fishing, construction, manufacturing, mining, oil and natural gas, renewable energy, and marine commerce, among others.
Multiple attempts by the Natural Resources Committee to obtain information on the funding and implementation of this policy have gone unanswered by the Administration. The Flores Amendment would compel the USDA IG to provide Congress with a complete accounting of the resources expended in furtherance of the policy.
I want to draw your attention to a letter (attached) circulated this morning by numerous agricultural groups including the Farm Bureau, Agricultural Retailers Association, Fertilizer Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and American Loggers Council supporting the Flores amendment. According to the letter, the Administration has “been committing unknown amounts of resources and personnel toward the development of an initiative that has not been authorized by Congress,” which could impact “activities in upland areas, potentially impacting a number of additional states.”
I strongly encourage you to support the Flores Amendment to H.R. 1947. Please contact Dave Whaley with the Natural Resources Committee or Eric Gustafson with Rep. Flores if you have any questions.
Chairman, House Natural Resources Committee
Read the entire Dear Colleague HERE.