Tester, Grassley introduce 50-14 bill in Senate

On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a bill to require each U.S. meat processing facility that slaughters over 125,000 head of cattle each year to purchase fifty percent of their weekly volume of beef slaughter on the open or ‘spot’ market.

Read the bill here:


Other co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Tina Smith (D-MN); Ron Wyden (D-OR); Cory Booker (D-NJ); John Hoeven (R-ND); Joni Ernst (R-IA); Mike Rounds (R-SD); and Steve Daines (R-MT).

United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:

“We commend Senator Grassley for continuing to champion legislation that seeks to strengthen the U.S. cattle producer’s bottom line.

“This legislation, the ’50-14’ or spot market bill, follows legislation already supported by USCA, the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021 introduced by Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska. The two bills, while different, both focus on necessary changes and enhancements to the cattle marketplace. USCA supports both pieces of legislation and will be working with both offices on paths forward.

“As Congress looks to the reauthorization of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Program (LMR) prior to its expiration on September 30, 2021, USCA appreciates any and all efforts to reform the program. LMR must be better utilized as a mechanism for accurate and transparent reporting in order to advance price discovery and shore up the fundamentals of the CME cattle futures contracts.

“USCA looks forward to working with members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to realign the cattle marketplace with its true fundamentals and level the playing field in producer-packer relationships.”

Another industry organization says the bill isn’t the right solution.

NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane said, “NCBA has and will continue to work alongside our affiliates, Congress, and USDA to increase price discovery and improve the business climate for producers across the country. However, simply put, Senator Grassley’s bill misses the mark. The industry – from leading livestock economists to NCBA state affiliates – agrees that any legislative solution to increased price discovery must account for the unique dynamics within each geographic region. As we have seen in other sectors, a one-size-fits-all government mandate rarely achieves the intended goal. Per our grassroots policy, NCBA supports a voluntary approach first to increased negotiated trade. If a voluntary approach is unsuccessful, that same policy provides guidance toward a legislative solution that more closely resembles Senator Fischer’s Cattle Market Transparency Act. We will continue to work toward a more level-playing field for producers, and we invite Senator Grassley to join the majority of stakeholders in reaching a collaborative solution.”



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