News from Congressman Barr

June 4, 2021

Congressional Update from U.S. Congressman Andy Barr

COVID-19 Origins: You Deserve Answers

Over one year and 600,000 plus American deaths later, we still don’t know the origins of the COVID-19 virus.  You deserve answers to this question.  In April of 2020, I was one of the first Members of Congress to call for an investigation into this very question. 

Last Friday, Fox News broke the news that I reintroduced my proposal to create a special Joint Select Committee (JSC) in Congress to investigate the COVID-19 origins. 

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My proposed JSC would be comprised of 20 members of Congress, 10 from the House and 10 from the Senate, led by two Co-Chairs, one from each Chamber. The JSC will have subpoena power, access to legislative staff, bring on experts and consultants, and be able to use documents from other relevant committees to conduct a full and complete investigation. The JSC would report on the following issues and terminate after its final report:

  • The origins and causes of COVID-19, including evidence the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab, as well as the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) response to the outbreak.
  • CCP suppression of information and perpetuation of misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding the COVID-19—including blaming the United States Military for its spread.
  • CCP denial of humanitarian assistance by foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, charitable and faith-based organizations.
  • The CCP’s actions to influence the World Health Organization’s response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
  • The CCP’s efforts to manipulate and weaponize the global supply chain.
  • Recommendations to improve and secure the United States’ access to critical medical supplies and pharmaceutical components in the global supply chain.

Calling on DOJ to Investigate Possible Anti-Trust Violations in Cattle Industry

This week, I sent a letter with 28 of my colleagues on a bicameral, bipartisan push to request U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) examine whether the control large meatpackers have over the beef processing market violates anti-trust law and principles of fair competition. 

Last summer, the DOJ under the Trump administration began an investigation into the imbalances and economic realities of the cattle industry.  The DOJ's antitrust division sent investigative inquiries to Tyson Foods, JBS SA, Cargill, and National Beef following anti-competitive accusations. The four companies are the largest meatpackers in the U.S., controlling more than 80% of beef processing. The DOJ is reportedly in contact with state attorneys general about the inquiry.

Horse Racing Reform Important Now More Than Ever

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Segment on WHAS11 About the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. This story ran on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

With this week’s news on Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit, the sport of thoroughbred horse racing needs uniform standards for drug safety and competition now more than ever. 

I sat down with WHAS Louisville reporter John Charlton this week to discuss the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.  Last year, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and I led HISA to passage in Congress.  This historic reform will strengthen the sport of horse racing for generations to come. 

Sincerely,

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Congressman Andy Barr

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