USDA Undersecretary Edward Avalos and USDA GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler must have been squirming in their seats at yesterday's House Agriculture Committee hearing. That's because almost to a man members of the committee's Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee castigated them for overstepping their boundaries in writing regulations on the buying and selling of livestock and poultry.
Subcommittee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., pointed out to the bureaucrats that several of the provisions included in the proposed rule "were soundly rejected in the legislative process in the House and the Senate" during debate on the 2008 Farm Bill. (A Des Moines Register blog captured some of the panel members' pique about the rule.)
Nearly all of the subcommittee members, including full committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who attended the hearing, requested that USDA at "least" extend the current 60-day public comment period by 60 to 120 days.