At Sen. Kelly’s Urging, Biden Administration Takes Steps Outlined by Kelly to Address Record-High Food Prices

Last month, Kelly pushed the Biden administration to take immediate steps to alleviate food supply chain challenges

After pushing the Biden administration to immediately address record-high food prices, today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly issued this statement after the administration announced it would take some steps Kelly called for last month to lower food prices, alleviate the strain on the food supply chain, crack down on anti-competitive behaviors, and ensure big corporations do not artificially raise prices.

“I am glad that the Biden administration will take some key steps I called for last month to give Arizona families some relief from high grocery bills and help level the playing field for local farmers and ranchers who are critical to our global food supply chain. I will continue pushing the Biden administration to use every tool at their disposal to lower rising costs for hardworking Arizonans, give consumers more choices at the grocery store, and ensure that corporations who are artificially rising prices are held responsible,” said Senator Kelly.

At Kelly’s urging, the Biden administration announced they would take the following steps this week:

  • The Department of Agriculture announced it would provide $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funding, which Kelly supported, to provide grants, low-interest loans, and other technical assistance to start-ups and growing businesses in the meat packing industry. This funding, which Kelly publicly supported, will help smaller producers scale up production and will promote competition in the meatpacking industry, which will bring down prices.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Department of Justice announced that they would accelerate their investigations into the meat-processing industry to identify instances where price-fixing occurs and ensure that the prices consumers pay reflect the true costs of a product. 
  • The Department of Agriculture will provide $32 million in Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants to help meat producers better utilize technology in meat inspections. Delays in meat inspection, due to outdated processes and fewer inspectors, slows the ability of new facilities to open or existing facilities to expand.  
  • As Kelly requested, the Administration publicly supported the quick enactment of the bipartisan Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act to improve data sharing and transparency in the cattle market, which is driving some of the most significant price hikes in the meatpacking industry. 
  • The Department of Agriculture announced that, as Kelly requested, they will issue new regulations to fully utilize its authorities under the Packers and Stockyards Act to crack down on anti-competitive behaviors in the meatpacking industry and provide new growth opportunities to small businesses. 

These actions come following announcements made by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in December that they will quickly begin implementing Kelly-backed provisions of the bipartisan infrastructure law, which will conduct a Truck Driver Compensation Study to identify best practices for retaining qualified truck drivers though cost-effective compensation programs and establish a new truck driver apprenticeship program. These provisions take important steps to address both the short-and long-term causes of the truck driver shortages which are affecting food prices. 

Read Kelly’s full letter outlining these steps HERE.