Debate on the Farm Bill opens today in the U-S Senate and Iowa’s two senators are divided on the issue. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has heard from supporters who say the compromise version of the Farm Bill will cushion farmers and rural Americans from financial hardships. Grassley says unless you’re a big meat packer or a cotton and rice farmer in the South, “the bill’s shortcomings outweigh its virtues.”The compromise version of the Farm Bill has already passed the House. Grassley expects the Senate to vote on the legislation Wednesday. Grassley says he’s against the bill as it doesn’t ban packer ownership of livestock and doesn’t crack down on payments to corporate farmers. Democrat Tom Harkin, who chairs the Senate Ag Committee, says he’s “very, very happy” with the final version of the Farm Bill. Harkin says he’ll vote for the bill as it restores the safety net to family farmers while eliminating the “Freedom to Farm” concept of phasing out federal farm subsidies.
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