Food and gas prices continued to rise throughout the United States back in May 2022, especially in the midwest region. And in Wisconsin, as of June 23, 2022, the price of gas has reached a state average of $4.801 with the average price of gas in areas like Marathon County at $4.756 and Eau Claire County at $4.663. Consumers continue to struggle to provide basic needs due to the economic crisis caused by ongoing inflation and global supply chain issues. To address these issues, H. R. 7606, a new bill titled Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 16, 2022. The goal of the act is to aid consumers in purchasing basic necessities at lower prices along with other objectives as well through the bills related to this legislative package.
A few bills that are associated with this package include H.R. 2518: The Producing Responsible Energy and Conservation Incentives and Solutions for the Environment (PRECISE) Act, H.R. 7606: The Meat & Poultry Special Investigator Act; H.R. 4140: The Butcher Block Act; and H.R. 4410: The Year-Round Fuel Choice Act. All of the bills in this legislative package aim to lower costs at the grocery store, reduce gas prices, aid food supply chains, target consolidation in the meatpacking industry, make cheaper E-15 biofuel more widely available, and lower fertilizer prices for farmers.
The bill passed the House with 221 yeas, 204 nays, and four representatives who refused to vote. 214 Democratic and seven Republican votes were in favor of the bill, 199 Republican and five Democratic votes were against the bill, and three Republicans along with one Democrat refused to vote. Among the 204 votes against the bill were Wisconsin’s entire Republican delegation, Representatives Scott Fitzgerald (5th district), Mike Gallagher (8th district), Glenn Grothman (6th district), Bryan Steil (1st district), and Thomas P. Tiffany (7th district).
Those who voted for the bill included Wisconsin’s entire Democratic delegation, Representatives Gwen Moore (4th district), Mark Pocan (2nd district), and Ron Kind (3rd district) who has stated: “Wisconsinites need relief from rising prices at the grocery store and gas pump, I’ll keep working to create a strong, stable economy and bring down costs for hardworking families across Wisconsin and the nation.”