Congress Re-Authorizes the United States Grain Standards Act Through 2020
On September 21 the U.S. Senate passed the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015 (H.R. 2051) by a voice vote, followed by the House of Representatives passing the bill on September 28, advancing the measure to President Obama for signature.
H.R. 2051 will reauthorize the United States Grain Standards Act, the Mandatory Price Reporting Act and the National Forest Foundation. The United States Grain Standards Act, which authorizes the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) to officially weigh and inspect grain was scheduled to expire on September 30, however the acts were reauthorized through fiscal year 2020.
“I am thankful to my colleagues for getting our work done and passing this legislation before the Mandatory Price Reporting Act and the Grain Standards Act are set to expire,” said Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. “These bipartisan bills will provide certainty for farmers and ranchers and prevent devastating impacts on our nation’s meat industries and grain exporters.”
The measure included revisions to FGIS operations and the official U.S. grain inspection system including a requirement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approve requests for waivers of grain inspection requirements in the event that the FGIS cannot perform its duties in the face of a disruption of such services unless the disruption was the result of an ‘emergency’. The bill also clarifies disruption notification and reporting requirements to Congress if the FGIS is unable to immediately restore services.