Members of Congress are calling for a comprehensive economic analysis of the proposed rule on livestock and poultry marketing. According to a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack signed by 115 members of the U.S. House, the proposed rule that was released by USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration in June includes proposed regulations that greatly exceed the mandate of the 2008 Farm Bill. The letter states that a broad rule that extends so far beyond Congress' direction in the Farm Bill - and that would precipitate major changes in livestock and poultry marketing - requires a vigorous economic analysis.
The legislators contend the analysis contained in the proposed rule fails to demonstrate the need for the rule, assess the impact of its implementation on the marketplace or establish how the implementation would address the demonstrated need. They call the proposed rule sweeping in its scope - and say it would carry major consequences in the marketing of livestock and poultry for producers of all sizes. The elected leaders say an economic analysis is necessary in order for Congress and the public to evaluate the rule and its implications.
The letter was led by House Ag Chair Collin Peterson, House Ag Ranking Member Frank Lucas, Livestock Subcommittee Chair David Scott and Livestock Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Neugebauer.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council both agree that an economic analysis of the proposed GIPSA rule is needed. NPPC President Sam Carney says producers need to know how much the rule will cost them. Further - he says it's unfathomable a major regulation like this doesn't have an analysis of its impact on the economy and jobs. NCBA President Steve Foglesong agrees - questioning why an administration that touts revitalization of America and the creation of jobs wouldn't force the economic analysis of a rule that could cost jobs and financially devastate a sector that provides safe, affordable food for the nation.
Foglesong says the proposed rule is another example of government intrusion into private business. He says the policymakers who sent the letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack took the common sense approach to rule making. He says they should get credit for standing up for U.S. farmers and ranchers and all of rural America.