WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2014-- A bipartisan group of 13 senators asked leaders of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to exclude a policy rider in the agriculture appropriations bill that would halt certain USDA livestock marketing rules.
The House’s agriculture appropriations bill includes a rider that would prevent the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) from finalizing several rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act.
“The rider is anti-farmer; if passed into law it will reduce farmer rights, thwart the will of Congress, and prevent GIPSA from completing its task of writing common sense rules of the road for the contract livestock and poultry production industry,” the senators wrote in an Aug. 28 letter to Senate Agriculture Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Ranking Member Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
The Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill passed out of committee in May does not include this rider.
The GIPSA rules included in the 2008 Farm Bill are intended to address fraudulent, retaliatory, and anti-competitive practices in the livestock industry. However, the 2012 agriculture appropriations bill included a rider to prevent GIPSA from finalizing these rules, and the 2014 Farm Bill does not address the issue.
According to the group of senators, the GIPSA rider would thwart rules that allow farmers to request documents showing them how their pay is calculated, ensures they are given adequate notice of a halt in animal deliveries, and ensures that they can exercise their right to speak with their congressional representatives without fear of retaliation.
To view the letter, click here.
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