Vilsack Blasts Congress

In a post on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Blog, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack blasted the House of Representatives for their recent dust legislation. The law, passed by the House last week, would limit the USDA’s and the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate farm dust as a part of their Clean Air Act mandates.

Vilsack’s criticism stems from the supposed pointlessness of this bill. The USDA and the EPA, Vilsack claims, has never sought to crackdown on farm dust. “No better example exists than the myth that EPA proposed to “regulate” dust on farm fields.  Simply not true! EPA is not now, nor has it ever proposed regulating dust,” he wrote.

In addition to clarifying both agencies’ positions on farm dust, Vilsack criticized the House for politicizing a non-issue and for spreading a divisive rumor, claiming, “The House of Representatives sought to perpetuate [the farm dust] myth when it passed legislation to stop the EPA from tightening national standards for coarse particles—or dust.  The Obama Administration has repeatedly explained it has no intention of doing any such thing, raising the legitimate question of why the House spent time debating a non-issue.”

In addition, Vilsack urged Congress to pass President Obama’s payroll tax cut, claiming that it will lower taxes for millions of Americans. Vilsack’s entry into the economic arena is not a new phenomenon. Over the past several weeks, he toured the country promoting President Obama’s economic policies as the administration gears up for the 2012 election.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer