House lawmakers sent a letter late Monday to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack asking that an economic analysis of the agency’s proposed rule on buying and selling livestock and poultry be completed before the regulation is finalized.

Signed by 115 members – 68 Republicans and 47 Democrats – the House letter pointed out that the rule “is sweeping in its scope and would have major consequences in the marketing of livestock and poultry for producers and processors of all sizes. In order for Congress and the public to evaluate this rule and its implications with full transparency, a thorough economic analysis is necessary.”

“It is imperative that producers know how much the GIPSA rule will cost them,” said National Pork Producers Council President Sam Carney, a pork producer  from Adair, Iowa. “Frankly, it’s unfathomable that a major regulation like this doesn’t have an analysis of its impact on the economy and jobs.”

The 2008 Farm Bill authorized the USDA to promulgate regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act related to livestock and poultry contracts and marketing practices. The rule would be administered by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

NPPC has pointed out that the proposed rule goes well beyond the Farm Bill mandates and includes some provisions that were considered and dropped or rejected by Congress.

In a July hearing, a number of House Agriculture Committee members said USDA “overstepped its boundaries.” The majority of the panel’s lawmakers signed the Oct. 4 letter to Vilsack, which was championed by Chairman Collin Peterson, (D-Minn.), Ranking Member Frank Lucas, (R-Okla.), Livestock Subcommittee Chairman David Scott, (D-Ga.), and subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Neugebauer, (R-Texas).

Read the letter.

Source: NPPC