A key farm state senator says President Biden may be using the farm bill as a vehicle to push back on broader GOP plans to expand food stamp work requirements, even as farm safety net funding remains in doubt.
So, which is it? Fear of a U.S. debt default, or the GOP expanding SNAP work requirements, that prompted Biden to invite Ag committee leaders to the White House last week for farm bill talks? Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley; “Well, I don’t know for sure, because I haven’t had a discussion with anybody that was at the meeting. But I think it would be the latter, and also to start the conversation. But I think it’s more geared toward the 84 percent of the farm bill that is for nutrition.”
A fight even more pronounced amid the broader one over raising the debt or borrowing limit in exchange for spending cuts that could include food stamps.
Grassley asked American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall at a recent farm bill hearing if Duvall had any ideas of how to improve the farm safety net without any new money. But why ask unless Grassley thinks there will be little if any more money?
Grassley; “Yeah, I think that’s fair to say, that’s why, hopefully, my legislation that I’m going to propose to put a cap on what one farmer can get from the farm program, would save money that we could spend elsewhere in the farm bill. I think that I raised the question because we’re getting pressure from commodity groups to increase reference pricing…and we’ve got to find some place to get the money.”
Separately, Grassley slammed the recent Supreme Court decision upholding California’s controversial Proposition 12 that bans sale of pork from sows not allowed stall space to move freely, regardless of where they’re raised.
Grassley said on Prop 12; “I plan to support legislative measures that reverse the effects of Proposition 12 and put an end to California’s ‘war on bacon at breakfast.’”
A 5-4 court majority held that the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau did not prove California’s hog rules were an unfair burden on interstate commerce and must turn to Congress for relief.