Congress Halting Work on GIPSA Rule- USDA Secretary Calls That Disrepect for the ProcessThu, 17 Nov 2011 05:54:57 CST
Even though US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is on the other side of the world- in Vietnam on an agricultural trade mission- reporters asked and he responded in a teleconference on Wednesday to the move by the Appropriations Conference Committee that has finalized their work and has sent back to the House and the Senate the FY2012 Ag Appropriations Bill this week that includes language to restrict USDA from continuing implementation work on the GIPSA rule that will impact the marketing of livestock in this country.
Appropriators blocked USDA from working on implementation of the GIPSA rule if it has more than $100 million worth of impact on the economy. USDA contends that the "final rule" and the "interim rule" released by USDA in recent days fall under that threshold. The disappointment that was expressed by Vilsack comes from USDA's desire to craft further rules from the original rule from the sections of the proposal that dealt with competitive injury. USDA conducted a cost benefit analysis- but has chosen not to release that work by USDA's Chief Economist Joe Glauber and his staff- so there is no way of knowing what the cost to the industry might be on the parts of the GIPSA rule that were left to be worked up and re-released by the agency. Now, it appears that Vilsack and USDA will have to drop plans to move forward with further work on GIPSA.
Vilsack seemed to be calling lawmakers out for not respecting the process of letting USDA write the rules they way they wanted them to impact livestock marketing in the country. In contrast, several lawmakers have been critical of USDA for overstepping its authority in writing such an expansive proposed rule after it was released in June 2010. Most recently, we heard that charge from Kansas Senator Pat Roberts when he addressed the Texas Cattle Feeders Association convention last month in Amarillo.
Vilsack's comments from Vietnam provide us fodder for today's Beef Buzz.
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