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More Congressional Leaders Call for Interim Decision on Make Allowances

Jul 24, 2006

More Congressional Leaders Call for Interim Decision on Make Allowances

Last week, Representatives Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) and David Obey (D-WI) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Mike Johanns calling for an interim decision on make allowances. The bipartisan letter was signed by an additional 28 representatives from across the country, showing widespread congressional support for immediate action on this issue.

On June 28, six months after an extensive four-day hearing in January 2006, USDA announced it was reconvening the make allowance hearing and accepting additional proposals on the Class III and IV pricing formulas. IDFA and its members were outraged by the announcement.

Almost immediately, Representative Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Gutknecht, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's subcommittee with oversight of dairy programs, sent separate letters to USDA calling for immediate action.

"If operations at dairy processing facilities are subject to these price formulas, then they should accurately reflect manufacturing costs," said Gutknecht. "Without updated make allowances, these dairy co-ops and companies will continue to suffer losses. This issue should be addressed as soon as possible."

"We applaud the leadership of Representatives Gutknecht and Obey and the overwhelming bipartisan support that came together to urge USDA to act promptly on updating make allowances," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. "USDA's delay is costing dairy product manufacturers $26 million a month. We truly appreciate the support for much-needed relief offered by these members of Congress."

The 30 representatives who signed the letter are:

Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) David Obey (D-WI) Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Bob Beauprez (R-CO) Leonard Boswell (D-IA) Charles Boustany (R-LA) Henry Brown (R-SC) Dave Camp (R-MI) John Carter (R-TX) Danny Davis (D-IL) Mark Green (R-WI) Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) Mark Kennedy (R-MN) Ron Kind (D-WI) Steve King (R-IA) John Kline (R-MN) Randy Kuhl (R-NY) Tom Latham (R-IA) Betty McCollum (D-MN) Gwen Moore (D-WI) James Oberstar (D-MN) Thomas Petri (R-WI) Jim Ramstad (R-MN) Paul Ryan (R-WI) Martin Sabo (D-MN) Joe Schwarz (R-MI) James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) Pete Sessions (R-TX) William Thornberry (R-TX) Mark Udall (D-CO)

To read the letter, click here.

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Posted July 24, 2006

Dairy Delivers