Thomas Massie Has a Solution for One of Biden’s Big State of the Union Complaints

In his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden attempted to address rampant inflation. While it’s not actually a cause of inflation, Biden did correctly note that only four major companies monopolize the meat supply in the United States.

That’s a great piece of information, Mr. President. But what might we do to fix this?

Republican Senator Rand Paul reminded the president that his friend Congressman Thomas Massie has a solution.

So did Massie himself.

Introduced in June 2021, Massie’s PRIME Act (“The Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption Act”) would expand “the exemption of custom slaughtering of animals from federal inspection requirements.”

“Under current law, the exemption applies if the meat is slaughtered for personal, household, guest, and employee uses,” the bill states. “The bill expands the exemption to include meat that is:

  • slaughtered and prepared at a custom slaughter facility in accordance with the laws of the state where the facility is located; and
  • prepared exclusively for distribution to household consumers in the state or restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, grocery stores, or other establishments in the state that either prepare meals served directly to consumers or offer meat and food products for sale directly to consumers in the state.”

Massie says his bill would open up the meat market in the U.S., decentralizing the industry. 

In the House, the PRIME Act is co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree. And in the Senate it is sponsored by Sens. Mike Lee, Angus King, and Rand Paul.

The bill would remove the requirement that all slaughterhouses be subject to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules and inspections, and would instead make slaughtering regulations the province of states and locales. This would eliminate the bottleneck where nearly the entire industry must be run through a select few USDA-picked meat companies. Basically, it would address the president’s complaint.

Massie told Reason in June 2021, “I have a small cattle farm, and I’ve used both types of processing facilities—USDA and custom [not USDA] processor.”

“Nobody has ever gotten sick from a cow I’ve sold them and gotten slaughtered at a custom place, and I can’t see how they’d get sick from me selling them a hamburger slaughtered at the same place,” the congressman said.

“The PRIME Act is really just expanding this exception,” Massie added.

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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for