This week during The Ag Minute, Chairman Frank Lucas discusses the importance of transparent economic analysis in federal rulemaking. A year has gone by since a group of lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a public report on the costs and benefits of the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule. Last week, Cass Sunstein, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, agreed that public analysis is important. During a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Sunstein said that "it is fundamentally important for economic analyses to be available for public review." The administration has yet to complete and release such an analysis, however.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"It's been more than a year since USDA released a proposed rule that would dramatically change how we market livestock in this country.
"After the rule was proposed, I joined 114 Members of Congress asking the Secretary of Agriculture to release a cost-benefit analysis on this rule for public-comment.
"At that time, our request was denied.
"A year later, one administration official has finally conceded that a cost-benefit analysis of this rule for public comment is the right thing to do.
"I'm glad that someone in the administration has seen reason. But, until they complete a cost-benefit analysis and release it for public evaluation, they should not move forward.
"With a struggling economy, the last thing we need is ill-considered government regulations that could wind up hurting the very producers they intend to help."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.