(Received via email from Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA.)

Background: Yesterday, Senator Pat Roberts used the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on the State of U.S. Livestock to deliver a personal attack against GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler in an attempt to kill the GIPSA rule.

The news website AgWired contains a video of Senator Pat Roberts’s undignified and repulsive attack.  There is a comment box just below the video.

Unless all of us act, the attack by Senator Roberts  on behalf of the meatpackers will reign as the ultimate truth in Washington, D.C.  That could spell the doom of the GIPSA rule.

Action: We have a rare opportunity to fight back in a very visible way by submitting strong comments on the AgWired website, which is widely viewed in Washington, D.C.

Please consider writing a comment that expresses your contempt for Senator Roberts’s deceitful attack on Administrator Butler and the GIPSA rule.

If all of us act right now, we will send a powerful message to Washington, D.C. that U.S. farmers and ranchers demand that our senators and representatives speak the truth, even when they don’t agree with us.

This is urgent as the video may not stay up on the AgWired website for long.  Please take advantage of this critical opportunity by submitting comments for yourself or for your organization.


Here is the comment we posted:

“Senator Pat Roberts made the most dishonorable and repulsive opening statement that anyone could possibly make at a congressional hearing.  Whether you support USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule or not, every American should be appalled at Senator Robert’s theatrics.  He lied.  He outright lied. Senator Roberts knows, and all his staff knows, that GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler NEVER said that the proposed GIPSA rule is a lawyer’s dream.  The speech of Administrator Butler that Senator Roberts purposely prostituted was widely circulated in the media as were transcripts of that speech.  Senator Roberts chose to lie for no other reason than to impugn the character of Administrator Butler.  Below is the transcript of Administrator Butler’s speech.  No one but a disreputable pawn would use this speech in the distorted manner used by Senator Roberts.  Administrator Butler said exactly the opposite of what Senator Roberts claimed he said.  Administrator Butler said that existing law – the 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act – contained vague terms that were, therefore, “a lawyer’s dream.” And, Administrator Butler clearly stated that his goal for the proposed GIPSA rule was to define and set perimeters for those vague terms so everyone in the marketplace knows the rules.  America has been disgraced by Senator Roberts.

2009 Speech of GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler

“I truly believe that if you are going to regulate, authority has to be tempered with common sense.

“You cannot try to over-regulate – you cannot try to under-regulate.

“I am a big believer in balance and consistency.

“If we want the industry to survive over the long haul, it has to be balanced.

“We are developing rules that deal with problems in the marketplace across the board.

“It’s just like a piece of legislation, you can’t write a perfect piece of legislation.

“We need your comments so we can put out the best finished product possible.

“Looking at it from the standpoint of sections 202 A and B, when you have terms like unfair, unreasonable, or undue prejudice, that’s a lawyer’s dream, a plaintiff lawyer’s dream.  We can get in front of a jury on that without getting thrown out on what we call summary judgment, because that’s a jury question.

“But the real thing now in trying to solve the problem quickly is not only to address the market issues, but to define some of these terms, to put parameters around them.  What you can do, what the company can’t do, what has got to happen in the marketplace.”

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