A House vote this week on H.R.3210, the “Retailers and Entertainers Lacey Implementation and Enforcement Fairness” (RELIEF) Act, could give a measure of closure to controversy surrounding the Lacey Act.

On July 17, the RELIEF Act was “committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed” and has been placed on the Union Calendar, No. 439.

The RELIEF Act passed through the House Natural Resources Committee last month by a soft vote of 25-19.

Sponsored by U.S. Representatives Jim Cooper (D-TN), Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and later modified by an amendment by Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), the RELIEF Act exempts wood and plant products harvested before the law was amended in 2008. Other changes would limit the scope of applicable foreign laws to the preservation and conservation of trees and plants, and limit the import declaration requirement to products containing solid wood instead of composites.

The wood products industry, environmental groups, musicians, retailers and others have been divided over the Lacey Act and attempts to amend it. Whether passage of H.R.3210 brings “RELIEF” to this controversial issue will remain to be seen.

Are you for or against the RELIEF Act and why? Share your comments.

Background on Lacey Act controversy and the RELIEF Act:

Lacey Act Amendment Under Vote by House (June 2012)

Lacey Act Battle Heats Up on the Hill (May 2012)

Musicians, Environmental Groups in Tune to Stop Illegal Logging (Jan 2012)

U.S. Reps Call for Lacey Act RELIEF

Battle Lines Drawn for Amending Lacey Act (blog Nov. 2011)

Wood Industry Groups Rally Support for Lacey (Sep. 2011)

Gibson Guitar Raid: The Lacey Act Run Amok (blog Sept. 2011)

Gibson Guitar Petitions Obama to End Investigation (Sept. 2011)

Amended Lacey Act Enforcement Begins Next Phase (April 2010)

Illegal Logging Bill Passes (July 2008)

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