Cattle Concerns: Legislation is uncertain in a lame-duck

Senator Chuck Grassley and the NCBA express their concerns with the controversial cattle markets legislation.

The fate of the cattle market’s legislation is uncertain.

The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act easily passed the Senate Ag Committee in June with bipartisan support, but the bill did not get a floor vote before the mid-term elections.

Senator Chuck Grassley is the chief sponsor of the legislation and he explains the biggest hurdle for the Act right now.

“While time is our biggest enemy in passing the bill, I know that we have the votes. The fact is independent cattle producers from across Iowa continue to face anti-competitive practices by the big four meat packers,” said Sen. Grassley.

Many in the cattle industry do not support this bill and are in favor of USDA’s efforts to improve the existing anti-trust system. The National Cattlemen’s Association says laws that are already on the books just need to be enforced.

“We want the government to stay out of cattle markets. But, at the same time, when it comes to the Packers and Stockyards Act, as it exists today, we think it does a good job. It just needs to be fully enforced,” said NCBA CEO Colin Woodall.

There are fears that a tight Senate calendar and waiting on elections to be over could leave the competition question unresolved.