Agriculture Committee Passes Bipartisan Federal Grain Inspection Reauthorization

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today held a business meeting and passed the “U.S. Grains Standards Act Reauthorization Act of 2015,” which authorizes USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service to establish marketing standards and conduct inspection and weighing for a variety of grains and oilseeds. The Act was last reauthorized in 2005.

“This bipartisan legislation provides much needed transparency and predictability throughout the federal grain inspection system to prevent future export disruptions – like we saw at the Port of Vancouver last summer,” Chairman Roberts said. “I look forward to this being the first of many bipartisan bills that will pass through the Agriculture Committee this Congress.”

“The United States is the world leader in agricultural exports,” Ranking Member Stabenow said. “Whether its Michigan soybeans or Kansas wheat, our nation’s farmers grow the highest quality products available.  That’s why we must have a robust federal grain inspection system to back the integrity of our exports. This bipartisan bill does just that, and I thank Chairman Roberts for his partnership in developing this legislation. I urge my colleagues to pass this commonsense legislation as soon as possible.”

Introduced by Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., this bipartisan legislation reauthorizes provisions of the U.S. Grain Standards Act until Sept. 30, 2020. It reaffirms the role of the federal inspection service and requires the Secretary of Agriculture to immediately take action to maintain export inspection and notify Congress in the case of a disruption. Additionally, it creates a transparent certification process for delegated state agencies inspecting exports. The legislation also requires the Secretary of Agriculture to report to Congress on the 2014 disruption in grain export inspections, as well as additional measures.

Text of the bill can be found here.