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house Bill H.R. 2088

When Grain Inspectors Can't (or Won't) Do Their Jobs, Should Outside Inspectors be Able to Fill in?

Argument in favor

This bill renews an important Act that regulates domestic grain production. It also provides an important mechanism for ensuring that the grain keeps coming: bringing in outside inspectors when the ones at a facility aren’t cutting it.

Duane's Opinion
Like (2)
heychrisfox's Opinion
This keeps grain industries properly funded and inspected. Who can deny the value in that?
Like (2)
Kevin's Opinion
Grain inspection needn't be a career. I should be a matter of licensing and continuing education.
Like (1)

Argument opposed

This is just a bunch of anti-labor junk. The inspectors at a facility are the ones with the knowledge necessary to safely and effectively assess grain. Bringing in others could cause disasters — and maybe drive down wages.

Dan's Opinion
This is a red herring and is anti-labor. USDA needs more funding to do its job.
Like (10)
James's Opinion
Let's not have any more privatization of government functions.
Like (3)
WeSeeTheTruth's Opinion
Fund the original program so grain inspectors are staffed to handle demand
Like (1)

What is House Bill H.R. 2088?

This bill seeks to offer a reliable supply of grain from the U.S. by renewing and changing the current laws that regulate it.

First thing’s first. This bill renews the Grain Standards Act, which lays out how grain has to be weighed, how inspectors are licensed and how those provisions are enforced. It’s set to expire in September 2015. This bill would renew it so it’s good to September 2020.

However, with renewed funding, this bill also changes the Act. It explains that, unless there’s a major disaster (an earthquake, tornado, tsunami, and the like), grain export facilities have to use official grain inspectors. Also, if the Secretary of Agriculture finds that a group of inspectors can’t inspect “in a timely manner” or an official agency waives its right to inspect — then the federal government can bring in inspectors from another geographical area or inspectors otherwise approved by the Secretary to make sure that grain is doing okay.

If states don’t use official inspectors and the Secretary finds out, they have to write a report about how badly they messed up, and why they should keep their "delegated authority."


People who eat grains (and grain products) grown in the U.S., grain inspectors, the USDA, grain farmers, grain exporters, and grain shipping facilities.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2088

$106.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $106 million dollars for the four years from 2016 to 2020.

More Information

In Depth: This bill is sponsored by the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX). It has bipartisan support.

Not only does this bill edit how grain inspection works, but it comes with a whole lot of edits to the bill itself—lots of adjustment of semicolons and the like. Pretty weird. 

Of Note: Aside from needing a new authorization, this bill addresses some issues that came up at the Port of Vancouver, Washington. In the summer of 2014, the company running the local facility, United Grain, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, got into a dispute over inspections and facility safety. Grain inspectors, worried for their safety, decided not to cross the picket linesThe USDA didn’t intervene, and United Grain had to stop operations. This bill would pretty much halting operations impossible if the inspectors in Washington (or anywhere else for that matter) can't or won't do their jobs, inspectors from surrounding areas can come fill in. 


Summary by James Helmsworth 
(Photo Credit: Flickr user USDAgov


United States Grain Standards Act Reauthorization Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend the United States Grain Standards Act to improve inspection services performed at export elevators at export port locations, to reauthorize certain authorities of the Secretary of Agriculture under such Act, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
  • The house Passed June 9th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Agriculture
    IntroducedApril 29th, 2015

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