Georgia Congressman Pressures USDA to Conduct Analysis on GIPSA Rule
WASHINGTON - In a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Jack Kingston (R-GA) called for a sound economic analysis to judge both the need and the utility of a proposed Grain Inspection, Packer and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule that deals with the procurement of livestock.
"In my view, it is unprecedented for a federal agency to propose such a wide-sweeping regulation and not conduct an economic analysis," Kingston said in a letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack. "I am concerned that despite Congress having appropriated $13 million in the current fiscal year for the USDA Office of the Chief Economist, GIPSA has seemingly ignored this resource to analyze the proposal."
In addition to a lack of economic analysis, Kingston said there are other questions that have been raised with the rulemaking that require immediate response, including what some view as an attempt by the agency to circumvent the intent of Congress and what Kingston says appears to be a carefully choreographed effort by the agency and others within the USDA to lobby Congress, press, industry and public officials on the proposed rule.
Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs, said U.S. cattle producers need to urge their elected officials to follow suit. He said USDA has yet to offer any type of economic or legal clarification to the rule with a thorough analysis.
"We need USDA to clarify this rule. We need facts. The only way to provide producers with facts is for USDA to conduct an objective economic and legal analysis of this rule using outside experts," said Woodall. "We cannot stand by and hope this rule is in the best interest of U.S. cattle producers. We need to be certain. As it is written now, this rule is anything but a good thing."