WASHINGTON (April 20, 2016) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) is disappointed that once again, funding for a final Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule has been revoked. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture approved an amendment to the Agriculture and Rural Development Appropriations bill which bans the use of any funds for publishing a final rule providing needed clarification and change to the GIPSA rule. The Fiscal Year 2017 agriculture funding bill will now be sent to the Senate for debate and approval.
Despite language being passed in the 2008 Farm Bill dictating the need for clarification and review of contracting and marketing practices in the livestock industry, the GIPSA appropriations “rider” has consistently blocked the implementation of a final GIPSA rule. If passed by the Senate, the amendment will effectively freeze GIPSA’s authority to oversee a competitive marketplace, allowing anti-competitive buying practices to continue and weakening free market principles.
USCA President Danni Beer commented on the amendment: “I am discouraged by the actions of the Subcommittee in choosing to deny basic market protections to our cattle producers. GIPSA was originally intended to allow the USDA to implement language which addressed unjust practices in the marketplace.”
“It is entirely inappropriate for lawmakers to continue to block funding on this issue. With continued volatility in the marketplace, transparency and just market practices must be secured and supported by Congress. We will work with Members of the Senate to oppose the House rider against GIPSA and secure a fair and level playing field for all U.S. cattle producers.”