WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House today passed a bill to reauthorize the United States Grain Standards Act. The bill, S.1752, was introduced in the Senate and passed by unanimous consent last week and was taken up on the House Floor under suspension this afternoon. Since both the House and Senate passed identical legislation, the bill will be sent to the President to be signed into law.
The Grain Standards Act was set to expire on September 30, 2005. This bill reauthorizes the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) to implement several provisions of the Grain Standards Act for 10 years. S. 1752 reauthorizes the following provisions:
• The Secretary’s authority to charge and collect fees to cover costs of official weighing of grain;
• The Secretary’s authority to charge and collect fees to cover cost of supervising those delegated weighing authority;
• The limitation on supervisory costs (at 30%);
• Ability to receive appropriated dollars for standardization and compliance activities; and
• The authority for the Secretary to establish and maintain an advisory committee.
Chairman Bob Goodlatte was pleased to support the reauthorization. “The U.S. Grain Standards Act has served agriculture and our nation well. For nearly a century, it has provided for standard marketing terms, grades and weights and facilitated domestic and international marketing of our farmers’ production. Passage of this bill ensures the continuity of these standards and the opportunity for our farmers’ to remain competitive in the world marketplace,” said Chairman Goodlatte.
Rep. Jerry Moran, Chairman of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, introduced similar legislation in the House earlier this session. “I am pleased that we were able to get this legislation passed before the expiration date, ensuring that the Federal Grain Inspection Service will continue to run without interruption. I appreciate Chairman Goodlatte working with me to secure this reauthorization of the Grain Standards Act,” said Rep. Moran.
The FGIS is responsible for establishing and maintaining official grades for the nation’s crop production, promoting the uniform application of official grades, providing for the official weighing and grading at export locations, providing federal oversight of weighing and grading done by states and investigating complaints or discrepancies reported by importers.