Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Legislation to combat market concentration, improve transparency fails to pass in this Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. – US Senator Chuck Grassley tells Brownfield Ag News he’s disappointed the omnibus spending bill does not include his Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act.

The $1.7 trillion spending bill funds the government for 2023.

“In the end we just ran out of time,” Grassley said Tuesday morning to Brownfield. “I’m disappointed that Majority Leader (Chuck) Schumer did not find time on the Senate calendar since it was so important for rural America.”

But, the Iowa Republican says he’s optimistic the bill will be a priority for the new Congress.

“This (cattle) bill is very bipartisan,” Grassley said. “It’s almost equally divided. I think it has an opportunity to pass next year. In other words, we can’t give up on it.”

Grassley has said if the bill isn’t considered as a stand-alone piece of legislation, it could be included in the next farm bill.

The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act (S.4030), sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Linda Fischer (R-Nebraska), pushes for multiple price discovery points in the negotiated cash market to boost competition for cattle prices. Cash market participation is being outpaced by feeders’ and packers’ preference for alternative marketing arrangements (AMAs), and the markets have come under closer scrutiny following major market supply disruptions in the past three years.

It is among several pieces of legislation to be introduced over the last two years to combat market concentration that have failed to pass in Washington because of a lack of agreement between cattle membership organizations and successful lobbying against the legislation by the American Association of Meat Processors, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

 

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