Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Monday 05/06/13

Egg Bill Goes Way of Humpty Dumpty and Takes a Fall

Backlash from livestock groups and fellow senators has likely prompted Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to put the egg bill back in the carton.

The egg bill is language struck from an agreement reached by the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States that would establish a national standard for confinement of egg-laying hens. The bill would supersede state standards for cages, some of which have come from HSUS-led voter initiatives. Stabenow is a co-sponsor of the legislation in the Senate, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

But the egg bill has had critics since UEP and HSUS struck their agreement in 2011. Other livestock and poultry groups have been appalled at the idea of Congress and the federal government implementing a national standard for livestock or poultry.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council lashed out last week after learning Stabenow would add the egg bill to her initial draft of the farm bill, typically referred to as the "chairman's mark." NCBA's president had threatened to oppose the entire farm bill over the language.

Following the backlash, Mary Kay Thatcher, a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, said Monday on radio show Agri-Talk that lobbyists now are hearing from Senate Agriculture Committee staff that Stabenow won't be including the egg bill as part of the her initial draft of the farm bill.

"Most of agriculture was very, very concerned about the precedent something like this would set," Thatcher said on the radio show.

A spokesman for NCBA also confirmed the group had heard that the egg bill would not be in Stabenow's mark.

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., had said if egg bill were included in the farm bill, "We're dead in the water."

Thatcher also said in her radio interview Monday that the Senate Agriculture Committee was continuing to push for a markup on Thursday. If that's the case, then Stabenow's office would be expected to release the chairman's mark on Tuesday.


I can be found on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 3:26PM CDT 05/06/13 by Chris Clayton
Post a Blog Comment:
Your Comment:
DTN reserves the right to delete comments posted to any of our blogs and forums, for reasons including profanity, libel, irrelevant personal attacks and advertisements.
Blog Home Pages
November  2014
S M T W T F S
                  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30                  
Subscribe to Ag Policy Blog RSS
Recent Blog Posts
  • ARC and the PLC Reference Price
  • RFS Decision Could Alter Biofuels, Corn, Soybean Markets
  • Is Keystone XL Back to Square One?
  • Chevrolet Buys CO2 Credits from Working Ranch Grasslands
  • Sign up for ARC or PLC Next Week? Surely You Jest!
  • Top Donors to House and Senate Ag Leaders
  • Farm Groups Want Tax Extender Legislation in Lame Duck
  • Republicans Sweep Key Senate Races
  • Biotech Label Battles Continue at Ballot Box
  • Cattle Industry, Land Group Presses Feds to Pull WOTUS Rule
  • USDA Moving Ahead with Beef Checkoff Plans
  • Politicos Weigh in on USDA APH Yield Exclusion
  • Views in Congress Vary on COOL
  • Vilsack Addresses Checkoff Controversy
  • GAO: 'USDA Needs to Better Communicate Climate Plan'
  • Offering Advice on Farm Bill Choices
  • Governors, Attorneys General say CWA Rule a Legal Threat to Farmers
  • Dem Senators ask President to Leave RFS Alone
  • Senators Push for Withdraw of Endangered Species Act Rule
  • ARC and the PLC Reference Price