June 16, 2022

Gallego Votes to Lower the Prices of Food and Fuel

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) voted to support H.R. 7606, the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act. The package of bipartisan bills seeks to lower prices at grocery stores and as the gas pump by supporting American ranchers and farmers.    

“With corporate price gouging impacting families across the country, House Democrats are yet again taking action to ease the pain of these rising costs,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego. “Thanks to the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, America’s farmers and ranchers will get the support they need to reduce their expenses—which in turn will help consumers save money. I am committed to tackling the issue of inflation, and this bill is a necessary way to help Arizonans pay for the food and gas they need.”

In the Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale area, prices have risen 11% between April 2021 and April 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act works in three specific ways to save Americans money. They include:

  • Lowering 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 prices in the grocery store too. 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.

  • Lowering 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 even as many of the men and women who raise the 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 & Poultry Special Investigator Act, establishing a USDA Special Investigator for Competition Matters with new powers to swiftly crack down on anti-competitive practices by meatpacking conglomerates in violation of 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.

  • Lowering 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 Putin’s Price Hike on American families, and nextgen 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 lower-cost 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 gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol, known as E-15 or Unleaded 88.  The bill 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.