The National Milk Producers Federation and International Dairy Foods Association praise Congress for its decision today to include in a conference report a dairy-specific amendment that would benefit producers, processors and consumers.
The organizations now urge Congress to pass the report so that it can reach President Obama's desk by the Dec. 4 deadline.
The bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Reps. Richard Hanna of New York and Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut and championed by House Transportation Committee Conferee Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, gives states the option to issue permits allowing milk haulers to increase their truck weights beyond Interstate Highway System limits.
This would allow milk trucks in some states to carry more product without being forced to offload portions of it at other state borders.
The amendment was supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the Senate and House.
"If passed, fewer vehicles would be needed to transport milk, cutting transportation costs and easing the burden on farmers, consumers and commuters," said IDFA President and CEO Connie Tipton.
"This amendment recognizes the specific challenges in transporting milk," said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. "It's great to see bipartisan support for something so critical to our dairy producers."
The bipartisan agreement comes as part of a massive push by Congress to deal with several pieces of legislation before they adjourn for the year.