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United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 2, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. Speaker, I too rise in support of the United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020, S. 4054.

For over 100 years, this law has provided the foundation for the grain and oilseed marketplace to establish consistent value and price discovery, and it is relied upon, not only by domestic shippers and exporters, but by the entirety of the U.S. agriculture sector.

This legislation contains several wins for agriculture stakeholders. It promotes marketplace stability by requiring delegated States to notify users of official inspection or weighing services of any intent to discontinue service, in addition to notifying the Secretary of Agriculture.

It ensures that the user fees paid by the grain handlers are used solely for official services and not other government functions.

And perhaps most important, this legislation ensures continuity in the official grain inspection and weighing services, providing much- needed stability to the grain and oilseed trade and all who rely upon them.

I want to thank Chairman Pat Roberts for his work in the Senate to make sure that we renew the Grain Standards Act this year.

I also want to thank the chairman of the Agriculture Committee and his team for getting this to the floor as expeditiously as possible after passage by the Senate.

Mr. Speaker, I support passage of S. 4054. I encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes'' as well, and I too reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. JOHNSON of South Dakota. Mr. Speaker, I thank Ranking Member Conaway. The gentleman has been a champion. I thank Chairman Peterson. The gentleman has been a champion.

We are here on the floor this afternoon debating the United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act, and I rise in support of that act.

Agriculture is a business where almost nothing is certain. From poor weather to trade disruptions to transport delays, these all create an incredible environment of unpredictability. In that environment of unpredictability, producers should not have to face unpredictability in agricultural policy. That means that when Congress can come together in a bipartisan way and offer a bit of certainty, we absolutely should do so.

That brings us to the Grain Standards Reauthorization Act. I am glad that we are passing a 5-year reauthorization so that the user-funded USGSA will allow buyers and sellers to quickly and effectively determine those quality specs that are outlined in contracts.

In this world of uncertainty, Mr. Speaker, I am glad and I am proud that we are going to send this to the President's desk, and, of course, I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation.


Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers, and I yield myself the remainder of my time.

Mr. Speaker, before I close, I would like to make a couple of comments about my colleague from Minnesota. Collin Peterson has served this House and the constituents of Minnesota's Seventh District, but, more importantly, rural America and production agriculture for 30 years.

My first memory of Chairman Peterson came in the 2008 farm bill reauthorization markup. That was my very first one. I was a rookie, and that was his 15th or 16th farm bill to chair. He was stunningly patient with me during that entire process and had a big influence on me.

I don't think there has been anyone more dedicated and more steadfast as a supporter for rural America and production agriculture than Chairman Peterson. He has seen good times and bad times, unfortunately, probably more bad times during that 30 years than good times. He has been a champion for both rural America and production agriculture throughout that timeframe. Rural America and production agriculture are both better off for his long service to this House and to the constituents of Minnesota's Seventh District.

Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of S. 4054, and I yield back the balance of my time.