WASHINGTON (May 18, 2022)– Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) condemned the unfunded and duplicative Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022, which was marked up this morning by the House Agriculture Committee.
“Cattle producers strongly support effective oversight of the meatpacking sector, but the special investigator bill does nothing to accomplish that goal. Rather than focusing on adequate staffing and funding for the woefully under-resourced Packers and Stockyards Division at USDA, this hasty proposal was rushed through the legislative process without consideration of the confusing bureaucratic mess it would create. Arming USDA with unchecked subpoena and prosecutorial power while significantly undercutting the Department of Justice’s role in the process is poor practice,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane.
The special investigator bill would create a new position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with immense prosecutorial and subpoena power. To comply with this legislation, USDA would be forced to divert resources from other mission-critical areas of the Agricultural Marketing Service, stealing resources from the essential programs cattle producers rely on every day.
“The vote on this bill comes at a time when producers are facing record inflation, soaring input costs, labor shortages, and ongoing supply chain vulnerabilities. Congress should be working to address these pressing issues that are cutting into producers’ profitability,” said Lane.
NCBA expressed their opposition to the bill in a letter to the leadership of the House Agriculture Committee.