Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Friday 08/08/14

House Ag Leaders Push Vilsack on Grain Inspectors

Key leaders of the House Agriculture Committee question Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's assertion that there could be security concerns sending grain inspectors to the Port of Vancouver in Washington State.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Rep. Michael Conaway, chair of the subcommittee on commodities, wrote a letter to Vilsack on Thursday asking him to "immediately restore Federal grain inspection services" to the port.

The congressmen stated "Were there to be documented concerns for the safety of Federal employees in this facility, we would stand behind the decision to withhold inspection."

United Grain Corp. is locked in a labor dispute with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union over a new contract. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee agreed last fall to provide police escort for state inspectors following alleged threats and intimidation by union workers, who are locked out of the terminal. Inslee opted to withdraw the police escort in early July. United Grain has been unable to ship grain ever since.

In a press call earlier this week, Vilsack suggested that he has concerns about the safety of inspectors who would have to cross the picket line to conduct inspections.

Lucas and Conaway stated in their letter that they have requested a copy of a report about safety concerns or a briefing about the report from the administrator of the Grain Inspections, Packers and Stockyards Administration. Both requests have been denied, the congressmen stated.

The congressmen stated that members of their staff have been told by USDA officials who conducted the security assessment that there are no safety concerns for inspectors at the terminal. "Those officials have confirmed that there are no security concerns that would prevent USDA grain inspectors from entering or exiting the facility through the vehicular gate, or by helicopter. The official did recommend that the vehicle transporting the USDA inspectors be placarded identifying it as a USDA vehicle, a measure that is seemingly easy to resolve."

The congressmen concluded, "We ask once again that you immediately restore inspection services so that grain exports can resume."

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 12:43AM CDT 08/08/14 by Chris Clayton
Comments (1)
Ever notice how if any fed employees are threatened all types of enforcement are all over it like flies on a cow pie? Except if it is unions doing the threatening and this administration need ALL those voters.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 8:39AM CDT 08/11/14
Post a Blog Comment:
Your Comment:
DTN reserves the right to delete comments posted to any of our blogs and forums, for reasons including profanity, libel, irrelevant personal attacks and advertisements.
Blog Home Pages
January  2015
S M T W T F S
            1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Subscribe to Ag Policy Blog RSS
Recent Blog Posts
  • Iowa Seeks to Ramp Up Politics of Ethanol
  • White House Tax Plan Targets Capital Gains, Stepped Up Basis
  • Corn Ethanol Target of Keystone Amendment
  • Ag Responds to House Immigration Vote
  • No Easy Fix for COOL
  • Trade Talk at AFBF Annual Meeting
  • A New Stream of Clean Water Act Litigation in Iowa
  • Dietary Guidelines and Defining Lean Meat
  • Obama Keystone Veto Threat Lauded by Enviros Ahead of Votes
  • Keystone, Keystone and More Keystone
  • GOP Seeks Elusive Balance on Immigration Reform in 2015
  • Looking Ahead to 2015
  • Vilsack Dropping Beef Checkoff Proposal
  • USDA Details on APH Exclusion
  • Agribusinesses See Benefits with More Open Cuba
  • Members of Congress Want Rule on Active Engagement
  • House Passes Appropriations with Several Ag Riders
  • Appropriations Bill Would Block New Beef Checkoff
  • Senate Pushback on WOTUS Expected Next Year
  • Groups Champion Revenue for Ag Infrastructure