June 16, 2022

Rep. Watson Coleman Votes to Lower Food and Fuel Costs

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) voted for new bipartisan legislation to fight inflation by lowering the cost of food and fuel. The Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act will help bring down prices in the grocery store and at the gas pump by giving American farmers and ranchers the support they need to thrive. 

“Today, I proudly voted for stronger action to bring down kitchen table costs for working, low-income, and no-income families,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman.  “A wide variety of factors, including Putin’s war in Ukraine, are driving up food and gas prices all over the world. We can bring down costs for American families by reducing our dependence on Russia. By lowering costs for American farmers and cracking down on anticompetitive practices by meatpacking conglomerates, we can bring down the price of food. And by unleashing the power of clean American ethanol, cheaper Unleaded 88 at the pump will help lower gas prices.” 


The Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act takes three steps to lower costs for America’s families: 


  • Lower Fertilizer Costs in the Field to Lower Food Prices in the Grocery Store. Russia and Ukraine are major global producers of key components of fertilizer, and Putin’s war has dramatically driven up the costs of fertilizer for American farmers — in turn, driving up grocery prices. The Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act reduces our dependence on foreign fertilizer production and includes two bipartisan bills to help American farmers lower their costs with $500 million in USDA funds as well as loan guarantees to pay for solutions, including precision agriculture, to use fertilizers more efficiently. Lower costs for farmers mean lower costs for families. 


  • Lower Meat and Poultry Costs by Increasing Meatpacking Competition and Capacity. Unfair, anti-competitive practices by the major meatpacking conglomerates who dominate the market are driving up the price of meat and poultry in the supermarket. Despite this, many of the men and women who raise beef, pork and chicken are forced to accept prices that make it almost impossible to make ends meet. The Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act strengthens competition in the meat and poultry sector and alleviates the supply chain bottlenecks that let meatpacking conglomerates set bad prices for producers and consumers alike. The bill includes the bipartisan Butcher Block Act to expand and create new meat processing capacity and options to market cattle, as well as the bipartisan Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act, which would crack down on anti-competitive practices by meatpacking conglomerates that violate the long-standing Packers and Stockyards Act. Better enforcement will lead to greater competition in meat processing, fairer access to markets for producers and more price stability for consumers. 


  • Lower Prices at the Pump by Making Cheaper, Cleaner Unleaded 88 More Available. Homegrown American ethanol grown by American farmers is one of our most powerful tools to fight rising gas prices, and next-generation biofuels infrastructure can make it even cleaner and more efficient to produce. Unleaded 88 is a cleaner, typically cheaper fuel option that costs on average approximately 40 cents less per gallon, emits less carbon pollution and burns cleaner than regular gas. The Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act expands access to Unleaded 88 and taps the power of American farmers to break the grip of foreign autocrats weaponizing the price of oil and gas. The bill includes the bipartisan Year-Round Fuel Choice Act, which builds on the Biden Administration’s action allowing for the voluntary year-round sale of Unleaded 88. It also includes the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act, which invests $200 million to help deploy additional storage and dispensing equipment to ensure that higher ethanol blends, biodiesel, sustainable aviation fuel and other biofuels are more readily available across the country. 


The Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act builds on House Democrats’ ongoing work to strengthen supply chains and bring down costs for working families. Earlier this week, Congress passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act to ease the burden of rising costs for consumers, retailers and farmers by cracking down on exorbitant shipping fees. The House previously passed the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act to combat Big Oil’s excessive gas price hikes. Meanwhile, the House and Senate are continuing to advance a bold pro-competition package that will lower costs by reinvigorating American manufacturing and strengthening our supply chains.