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Grassley Asks After Long August Recess, Where is the Farm Bill Text

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is starting to get impatient about the farm bill, saying the text for a Senate draft should have been out during the long August recess.

“The Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee were supposed to put pen to paper during the August work period,” according to Grassley. “I think we were told in July there was going to be a lot of hard work done to work out differences in the August recess. Presumably, that has not happened.”

It seems harder to get a farm bill done this year amid deep partisan differences, especially in the House, over food stamps and more—even as the two parties try to avoid an October 1st government shutdown over spending bills.

Grassley added, “So, I urge, I plead with House Republican leadership, to follow the Senate’s lead and pass bipartisan Democrat and Republican appropriation bills.”

During which, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer frets, other priorities will linger. Schumer says, “From advancing a farm bill to kids’ online privacy to reauthorizing the FAA.”

But if there is a shutdown, even a partial one, Grassley’s even less hopeful for a farm bill this year. “If Congress isn’t meeting regularly during a shutdown…and we can meet and probably should be meeting every day, 24 hours a day until we get it solved,” says Grassley. “But you know, you’re talking about floor time, and we need a text first to get it through the committee before we even worry about that.”

Leaving Grassley to ask Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ag Ranking Republican John Boozman; “Are we going to have to have a one-year extension of the farm bill?”

That’s a question Grassley says will tell him just how “serious they are” about getting a farm bill done this year.

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