Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says too much progress has been made at this point to abandoned the Farm Bill and it looks like a new bill will get worked out. “It’s still not decided, so I absolutely can’t be promising you that, but that’s what I’m hearing,” Grassley says. “And I’m hearing that dairy is the main thing holding it up and I’m hoping to get that worked out.”
While the dairy provisions need to be worked out, Grassley has also been told his provision putting a hard cap on the amount one producer can get out of the farm program is a sticking point. “It shouldn’t hold it up because it is the same in both the House and Senate and shouldn’t be anything to work out between the House and Senate. But southern farmers don’t like it — so it’s got some problems — and we’re fighting to keep that in,” Grassley explains.
The allocation and distribution of food stamp assistance had been an issue that separated the Republican controlled House and the Democratic controlled Senate. But Grassley, a Republican, believes concerns over food assistance have been resolved. “I thought that would be the biggest problem holding it up,” Grassley says, “and now that’s settled at about a savings of eight to nine and a half billion dollars, somewhere in that category. It doesn’t seem to be in dispute by either liberals or conservatives at this point.”
Grassley says senators will be off next week, but will likely take up the Farm Bill the week after that.
(Reporting by Dennis J. Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)