The Senate and House agricultural appropriations bills passed out of committee suggested different approaches on how to fund the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) from finalizing several rules under the Packers and Stockyard Act. Thirteen senators have written a letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for support of excluding the GIPSA rider from being included in a final appropriations package.
The bipartisan group of senators said they support the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed budget which did not contain the language which prevents GIPSA from finalizing the rules, whereas the House version did include a GIPSA rider.
The provisions were called for in the 2008 Farm Bill in an effort to help level the playing field and prevent anti-competitive practices. In 2010, GIPSA proposed a set of rules. In late 2011, GIPSA finalized some of the rules, but was prevented from finalizing others by a legislative rider included in the Fiscal Year 2012 agriculture appropriations bill.
Since then, legislative riders have prevented implementation and further development of the rule. The senators’ letter said the 2014 Farm Bill “was intentionally silent on the issues addressed by this legislative rider.”
The letter concluded, “This 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 history.”
Neither the House nor Senate have approved the committee package on the floor. Agricultural appropriations is expected to be lumped into a continuing resolution to be passed this fall and a potential longer-term solution in the lame duck after the elections.