Friday, September 25, 2015

Just in from Washington

Countdown is on to finalize price reporting, grain inspection authorizations

 Washington—The Senate on Monday approved a bill (H.R. 2051) to reauthorize mandatory price reporting (MPR) for livestock, the U.S. Grain Standards Act and the National Forest Foundation Act. Under the Agricultural Reauthorizations Act of 2015, MPR and the Grain Standards Act will continue through 2020, while the National Forest Foundation authority will continue through 2018.

The House addressed these issues in three separate bills, so to get the Senate bill to the president’s desk, the House would have to take up the new, Senate-passed H.R. 2015. Unless Congress finalizes the bill, mandatory price reporting and grain inspection standards will expire on Sept. 30.

One major difference between the House-passed legislation and the Senate’s version is how MPR would be treated during a government shutdown, which some say is very likely come Oct. 1. The Senate’s MPR bill does not include emergency authority for reporting during a government shutdown. The House legislation deems the price reports an essential service, guaranteeing they would continue during a government shutdown.

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