Cattle Raisers Government and Public Affairs Roundup: Budgets, tax reform, fever tick eradication efforts, guest worker programs and more
On Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the final 2018 budget resolution, clearing the last hurdle before the tax reform debate. TSCRA staff are actively engaging the staff of D.C. lawmakers to share our concerns and priorities, particularly in regard to the death tax.
Cattle fever ticks were also an important topic of discussion this week. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that they are ready to begin the environmental assessment of distributing medicated corn on the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (LANWR). TSCRA is also assisting in a congressional letter to encourage cooperation between the Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture to eradicate cattle fever ticks from LANWR.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to replace the current H-2A guestworker program to help provide farmers and ranchers with access to a legal, steady supply of workers. TSCRA is closely monitoring the progress of this legislation to ensure it will provide the necessary tools for ranchers to obtain the workers they require.
Earlier this week, TSCRA signed onto a letter from the Animal Agriculture Alliance disputing a report on animal antibiotic use from activist group Friends of the Earth. The letter says, in part, “we take great pride in raising the safest food supply in the world and are fully committed to addressing any consumer concerns that arise. The… report, in many cases, does not accurately portray the practices employed by our farmers and ranchers and the safeguards that have been put in place.” To read the full letter, click or tap here.
TSCRA also issued a letter supporting the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett-White for the position of chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The letter states, “in her tenure as commissioner and chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Ms. Hartnett-White clearly demonstrated her ability to implement effective strategies to properly manage Texas’ abundant natural resources. She was able to do so while also encouraging economic growth within Texas’ robust agriculture industry and across a large and diverse state.” Adding to her qualification, Hartnett-White is also a partner in her family ranching operation.