USCA issues statement on spending bill passage

Farm Forum

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) responded to the Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 spending bill. The bill, which funds the government through September 30, 2015 was passed on a vote of 56-40 late in the evening on Dec. 13. USCA commends the bi-partisan passage of this bill but remains disappointed that multiple riders remain within the final piece of legislation.

In addition to providing $1.1 trillion in funding for the coming year across government programs, the bill also includes over 100 riders concerning a variety of issues. Checkoff, country of origin labeling (COOL), horse processing and GIPSA-based riders all remain in the bill. USCA voiced its opposition to each of these issues being included in the bill and looks forward to addressing them in the coming year.

USCA President Danni Beer commented on the bill, “USCA remains opposed to the inherent intent behind each of these riders. The COOL and checkoff provisions in the bill do not implement any changes or weaken any of the programs; rather they are written as directives to USDA. Each issue should be allowed to play out through its respective ongoing process, which will allow producer input; instead, these riders will now demand additional and unnecessary government oversight and intervention.”

“We are disappointed that once again it seems a vocal minority is attempting to speak for producers at large and in doing so has taken a position that is completely at odds with the best interests of cattle producers across the country. This effort is aimed at derailing country of origin labeling, a program that ensures US cattle producers can differentiate their product in a positive way. It also curtails current work being done to increase check off dollars through the implementation of an updated and modern check off that will meet the needs of today’s producers. When it comes to the Beef Checkoff, USCA urges all invested stakeholders to seek solutions that reflect the needs of the entire industry and not just the primary contractor.”

USCA President Beer concluded, “COOL, checkoff, horse processing and GIPSA reform are all issues of concern to U.S. cattle producers. USCA will continue to lead as the producer’s voice on each of these issues and we are committed to ensuring that producer input and consideration is at the heart of any action taken.”