Sen. Pat Roberts, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, wants to know what the impact of USDA's proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration proposed livestock marketing rule will be.
A year ago, Roberts sent a letter to Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB's) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, asking that he commit to a review of the proposed rule. In late July, he followed it up with another letter, requesting the same information.
"It's been more than a year since I've asked Mr. Sunstein to properly review the GIPSA rule and its effect on the livestock industry. I'm committed to ensuring the livestock sector receives answers about how this proposed regulation will adversely affect livestock marketing in the United States," said Roberts.
"The livestock sector is a driving force of the agricultural economy. If the president plans to double exports, this segment of agriculture stands ready to deliver," Roberts went on. "However, this cannot happen as long as producers are continually attacked with unnecessary regulations that could cost them hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. This review should have happened long ago, and I intend on holding (U.S. Agriculture) Secretary (Tom) Vilsack, Mr. Sunstein and OMB accountable."
In the letter, Roberts points out that such a review is required because of USDA's own findings and recent declaration that the GIPSA rule has been designated as an "economically significant" regulation, meaning that it would have an impact of more than $100 million on the economy. This designation triggers a compulsory OMB cost-benefit analysis.
Roberts also requested that OMB review how this regulation produced by GIPSA will impact small businesses.
Both the initial and on-going costs to the livestock sector are expected to cost more than $100 million, and annual indirect losses to the industry and overall economy could exceed $1 billion.