Senate Ag Committee Passes Cattle Legislation in Nearly Unanimous Vote

(JUNE 22, 2022) – On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry considered S. 3870, the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022, and S. 4030, the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022.

The Committee unanimously passed S. 3870, with amendments offered by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. One of those changes, which the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) supports, is to ensure that the assigned “Special Investigator” is a senior level U.S. Department of Agriculture career staff and not a political appointee.

After a lengthy debate, including remarks by Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) urging their fellow committee members to close the Product of the U.S.A. loophole and reinstate mandatory country-of-origin labeling, the Committee passed S. 4030.

Both critical pieces of legislation are now eligible for consideration by the full Senate.

USCA President Dr. Brooke Miller issued the following statement:

”USCA is proud to stand with Senators Deb Fischer, Chuck Grassley, Jon Tester, and 17 other Senate cosponsors in support of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act. This bill is one of the much-needed solutions to an increasingly consolidated meat industry. Studies have shown that, without government intervention, negotiated trade in the U.S. marketplace will fall to zero percent by 2026 in parts of the country. When producers don’t have the ability to negotiate a fair price for their cattle based on current market conditions, it results in a vertically integrated, corporate-controlled beef supply chain. This threatens the livelihoods of producers and the security of our national food system.

“USCA would also like to thank Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow for overseeing today’s business meeting. Senator Stabenow is a strong advocate for a safe, resilient food system for consumers and a fair, competitive marketplace for producers. USCA urges the full Senate to follow the lead of Chairwoman Stabenow, and swiftly pass both of these important pieces of legislation. Once again, a vote against these bills is a vote for the status quo. Our members cannot wait another calf cycle for significant market reform.” 

Watch the livestream recording HERE.