Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our state's economy. Without them, we wouldn't be able to function in our daily lives. They have been hit especially hard during the coronavirus pandemic and it is my firm belief that they need relief as we continue to battle this crisis. I have authored several pieces of legislation to make them a priority and I encourage you to read more about how we can support our agricultural producers in this time of need.
Farmers and ranchers across the country are working to operate in these unprecedented times. When I spoke with members of the Oklahoma Pork Council last May, we discussed the strain COVID-19 has put on their production cycles and their need for relief moving forward. That is why I was glad to introduce the Relief for Producers Act to provide a framework for producers and ease some of the burden brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation will help livestock and poultry farmers more easily and efficiently navigate a path forward as we battle this crisis.
Oklahoma farmers and ranchers rely on the revenue generated from their livestock. I understand how important it is to ensure both livestock dealers and farmers have stability and accountability when a sale is made. If a livestock dealer defaults on a sale, the lost assets can be detrimental to the farmer. That’s why last year, I introduced the Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act, bipartisan legislation that will create common-sense protections for Oklahoma’s cattle producers and provide necessary stability and accountability for all livestock transactions.
With bad actors like China, who already have a track record of manipulating strategic acquisitions to benefit themselves, it is our duty here in Congress to protect America’s national security, including threats to our food supply. That’s why I was proud to introduce the Agricultural Security Risk Review Act alongside Senator Tillis, a bill that would make the Secretary of USDA an official member of CFIUS to ensure the safety and security of American agriculture.
In addition to supporting the Farm Bill and authoring legislation to support Oklahoma producers, I have worked to protect our agricultural communities from President Obama’s flawed WOTUS rule that could have designated everything in Western Oklahoma as a wetland. It is not an overstatement to say that the Obama-era WOTUS rule was the greatest regulatory burden facing farmers and ranchers in my state and other states across America. For generations, farmers and ranchers have been dedicated stewards of their land and water, but the Obama-era rule placed unprecedented and expanded power into the hands of the federal government which severely hampered the work of farmers and ranchers everywhere. Thankfully, the Trump administration replaced the WOTUS rule, but it is more important than ever that we continue to fight for the best interest of Oklahoma agriculture, as the Biden administration has shown it will put regulations ahead of support for our farmers and ranchers.