A year has gone by since a group of lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a public report on the costs and benefits of the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule. The analysis has yet to be provided.
This week, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas discussed the importance of transparent economic analysis. "It’s been more than a year since USDA released a proposed rule that would dramatically change how we market livestock in this country,” said Lucas. "After the rule was proposed, I joined 114 Members of Congress asking the Secretary of Agriculture to release a cost-benefit analysis on this rule for public-comment. Our request was denied.”
One administration official has finally conceded that a cost-benefit analysis of this rule for public comment is the right thing to do, according to Lucas. Cass Sunstein, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, agreed that public analysis of the proposed GIPSA rule is important. During a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last week, Sunstein said that "it is fundamentally important for economic analyses to be available for public review
"Until they complete a (GIPSA) cost-benefit analysis and release it for public evaluation, they should not move forward,” said Lucas. “With a struggling economy, the last thing we need is ill-considered government regulations that could wind up hurting the very producers they intend to help."
Source: House Agriculture Committee