Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, released a statement Nov. 22 in response to a D Circuit Court’s decision to stay a mandate that agricultural entities file reports under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Uden said agricultural operations were never intended to be regulated by these laws, so this court-ordered stay until Jan. 22 was very welcome news.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on Nov. 20 that in advance of the Dec. 18, 2017, implementation of the Congressionally-mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, and to further facilitate transition to the rule by motor carriers, the agency will be providing guidance related to enforcement procedures during the ELD transition. These will include a 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD requirement for transporters of agricultural commodities, including livestock.
TSCRA Government and Public Affairs staff are continuing to engage in tax reform legislation in Washington, NAFTA talks in Mexico, and attending a fever tick forum in Kingsville. Read more…
TSCRA President Richard Thorpe issued a statement Thursday commending the passage of the U.S. House’s extensive tax reform bill. “We applaud today’s passage of comprehensive tax reform, which includes numerous provisions that will reduce taxes on hard-working ranching families as they work to grow and pass on their operations to future generations…”
Transporting cattle could become much more difficult if a set of congressionally mandated trucking rules go into effect before the end of the year. The regulations have the potential to cause devastating disruptions in how cattle are hauled, creating unintended biosecurity hazards and animal welfare issues. Read more…
This week TSCRA Government and Public Affairs staff attended the opening ceremony of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) office in College Station at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center. The office is co-located with and hosted by the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD). As an intergovernmental organization responsible for improving animal health and welfare worldwide, the OIE is recognized by the World Trade Organization – the standard-setting body for animal health regulatory activities. Click or tap here for more information on the new OIE office.
Association representatives also attended a meeting of the Texas Agriculture Council (TAC) in Austin. TAC serves as a forum of organizations whose members depend upon agriculture for their livelihood. TAC’s purpose is to promote discussion of political, legislative and regulatory issues of importance to the future of Texas agriculture. At this week’s meeting, several state agencies gave detailed reports on their activities during Hurricane Harvey.
TSCRA Government and Public Affairs Weekly Roundup: Agency nominations, retirements and tax reform proposal
TSCRA staff is monitoring the progress of nominations to government agencies that will be deciding issues that affect the landowners and the beef industry, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency. They are also closely following news of crucial retirements from Congress and the Texas legislature, including Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus and U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith. Thursday the U.S. House released details on their tax reform proposal, “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” TSCRA’s Government and Public Affairs staff are analyzing the bill and will continue to engage Congress on the components that are important to cattle raisers. Additional information is available on the committee’s website. Read more...
Cattle Raisers Government and Public Affairs Roundup: Budgets, tax reform, fever tick eradication efforts, guest worker programs and more
This week TSCRA government and public affairs staff continued engaging the staff of D.C. lawmakers to share concerns and priorities on budget and tax reform, particularly in regard to the death tax; discussed cattle fever tick eradication efforts on the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge; monitored the progression of guest worker program legislation; and supported the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett-White for the position of chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
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.