ICYMI: Rep. Austin Scott grills House Agriculture Committee Democrats for hiding budget reconciliation bill text

September 21, 2021
Press Release

Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA-08), a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, today grilled House Agriculture Democrats and Chairman David Scott (D-GA-13) for hiding budget reconciliation bill text from Republican committee members and the American people.

For its part of the budget reconciliation process, the House Agriculture Committee was ordered to produce legislation totaling $94 billion in spending, of which over $89 billion is deficit spending. Last week, Democrats on the committee passed the bill with $28 billion undefined "conservation" spending.

In today's hearing which considered a bill to name July 2021 National Blueberry Month, Rep. Scott used his allotted time to press Chairman Scott multiple times on if bill text for the undefined $28 billion in the budget had been shared with Democrats but not with Republicans or the American people. Chairman Scott acknowledged he had seen bill text but refused to answer if other Democrat members of the committee had, too.

While he supported legislation to create a National Blueberry Month, Rep. Scott further pressed Chairman Scott and committee Democrats on the fact that they will not address assistance for struggling blueberry farmers but will increase the debt ceiling until December 2022.

You can click here to watch Rep. Scott’s exchange with Chairman David Scott where he acknowledges he has seen undisclosed bill text for budget reconciliation but refuses to answer if committee Democrats were able to review bill text while Republicans and the American people were not.

Key soundbites from Rep. Austin Scott:

"I find it hard to believe that Democrats would have voted to pass the language if the Democratic party members of this committee had not seen that."

"Mr. Chairman, it's an honest question, have the Democrats on the Ag Committee seen the language?"

"Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, we have a democracy, and our democracy requires those of us who are entrusted with the position of being a member of Congress to have the facts before we vote."

“You’re about to go out there and vote to waive the debt limit until December 2022, and yet this [blueberry month] legislation – which is fine with me – doesn’t give a single dime to a blueberry farmer.”

"You passed $28 billion out of this committee through a blank check that you've seen that you won't share with us. You've acknowledged that you've seen it, but I wonder, Mr. Chairman, have you shared it with the other Democrats? Or did the Democrats just vote for it without knowing what was in it?"

"The Democratic party is going to walk out there at 4:30 pm and vote to suspend the debt limit without any budget. This is a very dangerous time in this country when one party gets to see the language and the other party doesn't."

Rep. Scott: Mr. Chairman, it's an honest question, have the Democrats on the Ag Committee seen the language?

 

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