Colin Woodall, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
November 8th is Election Day here in the United States, and by now I’m sure you are sick of the constant political ads. You will hear many people say that this is the most important election we’ve ever seen. I argue that each election is important, but our American electorate easily forgets the past and tends to focus only on the present. Regardless, you need to plan on being in a voting booth on November 8th. If, for some reason, you know that you will be busy that day, most jurisdictions have absentee or early voting. Make sure your vote is cast because much is at stake.
Topping the list is the race for the White House. With the change in President comes all new Cabinet officials and heads of agencies. This means that NCBA will have the opportunity to build new relationships with officials at USDA, EPA, FDA, BLM, and many more. It also means, however, that we have to start from scratch talking about how these Federal departments and agencies impact our industry. That is always complicated by the excitement of a new Administration as they get to work and typically only want to focus on their priorities. The election of either candidate will probably bring us Federal officials who don’t know much about the production of beef in the United States.
For NCBA, managing the White House is best done by working with Congress. As you look at the current seats in the House of Representatives and the re-districting that has been done over the past decade, it looks like the Republicans will maintain control of the House. On the Senate side, however, control is up for grabs. Senators that are up for election this year are ones which were elected during President Obama’s first mid-term election in 2010 when the anti-Obama wave brought more Republicans to the Senate. Many of those Republican Senators were elected from states which had historically sent Democrats to the Senate. This year’s test will be whether those Republicans can convince their constituents to send them back. The Republicans have had a rough run as the majority in the Senate because they do not have 60 Republican Senators in their camp. The way the Senate is structured, you really need 60 votes to get anything done.
No matter the outcome on Election Day, NCBA makes it a practice to work with both Democrats and Republicans based on what they do for our industry, rather than their party affiliation. Any group that puts all of their focus on one party will rarely be successful. We are fortunate to have friends in Congress on both sides of the aisle who are willing to help us push back against over-burdensome Federal rules and regulations. As we get closer to November 8th, I urge you to look at the candidates’ positions on the issues and help send Senators and Representatives to Washington to help us with our fights.
Bottom line – exercise your right to vote!