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House passes Mandatory Price Reporting Act

The full U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed by a voice vote the Mandatory Price Reporting Act along with the U.S. Grain Standards Act Reauthorization Act and the National Forest Foundation Reauthorization Act.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (Texas) said his first goal as chairman was to have all reauthorizations complete before the deadlines passed this fall.

“This completes our work in cleaning up the books of the House Agriculture Committee, addressing every item on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) list of unauthorized appropriations under the committee’s jurisdiction,” he said.

The Mandatory Price Reporting Act, HR 2051, which is designed to reflect what’s happening in the industry and bring fairness to the market, must be reauthorized every five years. The latest reauthorization was set to expire on Sept. 30, 2015.

For the first time, the reauthorization contained statutory language on lamb in order to direct action on the thresholds of lamb processing and importing companies to help ensure information is available for publication every week. It also included a provision that responds generally to industry concern regarding USDA’s arbitrary decision to shut the mandatory program down for several days during the lapse in appropriations that occurred in 2013 while other mandatory programs were deemed essential.

As American Sheep Industry Association President Burton Pfliger (N.D.) testified, “Lapses in price reporting created difficulties for the entire industry from farmers to feeders to meat companies.

“The sheep industry appreciates the inclusion of statutory language for lamb that increase the number of firms reporting both American lamb and imported lamb pricing. The updated legislation is crucial to keep market reporting available for the lamb industry in order to keep pace with changes in the lamb business.” Action now moves to the United States Senate.

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