Lawmakers Draw First Blood

On June 17th, we posted that rumors had it J. Dudley Butler was going to release his long-promised GIPSA rule that was once and for all going to decide “fairness.”  We say long-awaited because he told an audience last August that it was just weeks away then.  Evidently, there have been quite a few bumps in the road since then for Mr. Butler.

The proposed rule was released June 18th and it would seem Butler found out he couldn’t define “unfair” or “undue” preference or “unreasonable” very well.  So instead, he’s just gone about prohibiting whole activities so as to be sure they wouldn’t be unfair to anyone.  Reminds us yet again of liberals who can’t stand “unfairness” to anyone, so they just don’t keep score or they ban the game.

We’ve been busy digesting some 60-pages of explanation and rule plus many pages of economic research that mostly fails to prove all the problems that Butler claims exist are really there — and does not suggest any of the remedies he wants to mandate.  We’ll have more on the details in future AFF Sentinel e-mail newsletters.

But Wednesday was the first chance for Congressmen to give Butler a reading on his handiwork and it was evidently a day you actually wanted to be in Washington D.C.  Several Washington sources reported both Democrat and Republican lawmakers expressing serious concerns to Under Secretary Edward Avalos and Administrator J. Dudley Butler himself. 

The Democrat Chairman of the Livestock Subcommittee Chairman David Scott (GA.) summarized the hearing for Under Secretary Avalos and Butler by reminding them “you’ve heard a very passionate, very serious outpouring of concern from this committee,” Sally Schuff of Feedstuffs ( reported.  Scott added that his committee was in agreement that USDA had “overstepped its boundaries,” had “arbitrarily” gone against Congress’ intent and wishes and at the very least, the comment period should be extended.

This reaction is gratifying but only a start.  Rep. Leonard Boswell (D.-IA.) defended the proposed rule and we’re sure Rep. Grassley would have if he had been there.  True believers will not change their spots on this issue.

The bottom line is this: Butler told his audience last year, “We want value-added agriculture, as you do.  We want you to produce the best product you can, just like you want to.’

Mr. Butler, you only get higher quality if you pay for it.  If your rule makes it illegal to pay more for better quality, then consumers won’t get it.  This is the real world.  You only get what you pay fo

Published in: on July 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

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