USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) announced Oct. 17 it is withdrawing its interim final rule regarding proof of harm standards under the Packers and Stockyards Act. The interim final rule would have broadened the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 related to using “unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive practices” and to giving “undue or unreasonable preferences or advantages.” House Ag Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall have all praised the decision as a victory for cattle producers and consumers.
Cattle Raisers Government & Public Affairs Weekly Roundup: Trade, guest worker programs and tax reform
This week TSCRA government and public affairs staff continued to monitor numerous topics up for debate in Washington, D.C., including trade, guest worker programs and tax reform proposals. TSCRA will continue to engage on these issues, and others, to protect the interests of cattle raisers. Staff also attended several ranch gatherings across the state to provide updates on legislative activities. More gatherings, Ranching 101 sessions and more are scheduled for coming weeks – click or tap here to see if one is being held in your area soon. They’re free, they’re fun and you’ll have an opportunity to get the latest from TSCRA and fellow cattle raisers.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 11 to discuss expanding U.S. trade relationships in the Asia-Pacific region. TSCRA director Kelley Sullivan testified before the committee to highlight the importance of trade to the U.S. beef industry and note the successes brought about by agreements like NAFTA and KORUS.
This week TSCRA signed on to two letters supporting the Agricultural Guestworker Act of 2017 and are monitoring federal tax reform efforts.
TSCRA held their annual Policy Conference in San Antonio last week, offering members an opportunity to guide the association’s position on many important policy issues. TSCRA maintains six policy committees, led and comprised entirely of volunteer members that develop policies to guide TSCRA’s involvement on state and federal issues that impact cattle raisers. The committee meetings in San Antonio resulted in several new policies that were later adopted by the full board of directors, covering topics supporting lawful drone use, business expense deductions in the Internal Revenue Code, agricultural financing and participation in value-added marketing programs.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded President Donald J. Trump’s vision of a broad reform of the American tax code, which will result in dramatic tax cuts for millions of American individuals, families, businesses, and family farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said,
“Our Nation’s cattle producers are very pleased that President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have maintained their long-standing commitment to American agriculture by including a full repeal of the onerous death tax in the Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code.”
As a function of TSCRA’s commitment to representing ranchers and landowners in Texas and across the Southwest, our governmental and public affairs office is hard at work tackling the issues important to the beef industry. This week staff submitted comments supporting the repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, signed letters of support for USDA staffing nominations and gave legislative updates at gatherings around the state.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced in June their intention to repeal the so-called Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. On behalf of TSCRA, Thorpe submitted official comments on Thursday to the two federal regulators supporting the repeal, and encouraged fellow cattle raisers to do the same.
The latest video from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association features Jay Wolf, a third-generation Nebraska rancher, who discusses the time, energy, and financial cost he’s forced to spend on estate planning due to the death tax. Wolf also discussed how the death tax is fundamentally unfair and burdensome because it forces family ranchers to pay tax and estate-planning costs in cash based upon an appraised value of their land, which they’ve already paid property taxes on for decades.
As a function of TSCRA’s commitment to representing ranchers and landowners in Texas and across the Southwest, our governmental and public affairs office is hard at work tackling the issues important to the beef industry. This week staff focused on more Harvey media coverage and concerns regarding the implementation of electronic logging device (ELD) enforcement for livestock haulers. Read more…