Ranchers, Sen. Rounds Wait for Answers on Compromise Bill

Billings, Mont.- Cattle producers have raised questions about the details included in the compromised Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2021 (S.3229), known as the Fischer-Grassley compromise bill. Producers' concerns have thus far been largely ignored, but now Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.), is raising the same questions.


In a recent interview with Your Ag Network, Sen. Rounds announced his office had received many questions and concerns from his constituents regarding S. 3229. According to the interview, after his questions remained unanswered by sponsors of the bill, Sen. Rounds took his search to Twitter in a series of tweets.


On March 22, Sen. Rounds tweeted at Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), “Another concern is that no region's minimum can be more than ‘3 times higher than that of the lowest region's minimum.’ Texas is at approximately 10%. Iowa was recently over 50%. Does this language ‘cap’ Iowa, in this case, at 30%?”


In the Twitter thread Rounds pointed out that the compromise bill excludes nine of 24 large packing plants: five JBS plants, two Cargill plants and two Tyson plants and he also asked if there is a plan to include the rest of the plants.


“R-CALF USA’s cattle producer, member-driven policy has led us to ask many specific questions regarding the Fischer-Grassley compromise bill,” said Brett Kenzy, R-CALF USA President. “Our questions have and continue to go unanswered. We continue to fire out questions about this bill because it is so vague and ambiguous, and yet no one seems to have any answers.”


“At the time of this press release, Sen. Grassley has not answered Sen. Rounds or cattle producers,” said Karina Jones, R-CALF USA Field Director. “If no one can answer these questions, it seems safe to stay loyal to S. 949, the 50/14 spot market protection bill.”


“With the new Iowa State study that highlights coordinating power of packers having multiple plants, it adds further urgency to even stronger policy that would reign in abuses by the packers,” said Eric Nelson, R-CALF USA Vice President.


“Opposing the 50/14 bill and supporting the compromise bill, while watching packers boast of record profits and the American consumer pay record prices at the grocery store only makes you appear to be a global packing ally, and no friend of the independent cattle industry,” said Jones.


R-CALF USA continues to strongly support S.949, that will allow cattle producers to benefit from a robustly competitive negotiated cash market at least at a 50% volume level. For more information regarding the 50/14 bill visit www.r-calfusa.com.

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