January 31, 2020

Friends,

Yesterday, I joined President Donald Trump at the White House for the signing of the United States- Mexico- Canada Agreement. The USMCA is a huge win for 5th District.  

It will rebalance trade to support local dairy, cattle, and other farmers and give them greater access to markets in Canada and Mexico, who are two of Virginia's largest trading partners, making up almost 25% of total exports. I was happy to join President Trump to see this agreement signed.

The USMCA will help farmers in my district and I am proud to announce I have introduced another bill that will help farmers in the 5th.  

The Voluntary Checkoff Program Participation Act will make Department of Agriculture check-off programs voluntary.  Check off programs require small farmers to contribute a portion of their income to lobbyists and marketing firms.

Weaponizing regulation to force small farms to pay into a system that might only benefit a large corporation or a middle man and not the farmer is wrong. Farmers shouldn’t be made to pay fees for things they don’t want. 

If these checkoff programs give farmers value they can make the voluntary decision to pay into it- but it should not be mandatory.  I am proud to sponsor this bill and will always stand up for 5th District farmers.  The government doesn’t know better than you do.

If you need help with a federal agency, please contact my Charlottesville Office at (434) 973-9631 or see my staff during our mobile office hours on Tuesday's across the 5th District.  If you would like to schedule a tour of either the Capitol, or another federal building in Washington, including the White House or the FBI, please contact our Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-4711.