Senator Charles Grassley says he wants to ensure that a federal buy-out plan for tobacco farmers does not add to the deficit. Grassley’s initial hope had been to jettison the program entirely, but he’s meeting resistance because the provisions are part of a broader package that’s already passed the House. He says it overturns European tariffs on our products that make them less competitive, so he says if the House says they can’t pass a bill and they delivered 40 votes for a bill that wouldn’t otherwise pass, then he has to look at it seriously. But Grassley says he has problems with it. Grassley says he’s in a “catch-22” position. He says he’d rather not have it in there, but says if it is, it has to be offset.Which means Grassley wants tobacco-backers to find nine billion dollars worth of cuts elsewhere in the federal budget to off-set the money that’d be paid out. Grassley says there are a lot of hurdles to cross before there’s resolution. A group calling itself Tobacco Free Iowa held a news conference last week urging Grassley to snuff out the tobacco industry subsidy.
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