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HomeAg NewsGrassley Renews No Farm Bill Prediction For This Year

Grassley Renews No Farm Bill Prediction For This Year

The release this week of a Senate GOP farm bill framework may have done little to boost chances for a new five-year bill this year, according to one longtime GOP senator. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley repeated his earlier prediction, couched by the release of a Senate GOP farm bill plan.

“I’m often one to say that we probably won’t be getting a farm bill this year,” says Grassley. “But I’m also first to say that farmers need a farm bill this year and the certainty that goes with it.”

But standing in the way, as it has for over a year, is a fundamental policy difference between the parties. Republican Grassley says “We want more farm in the farm bill, and that’s because 85 percent of the farm bill is food stamps. And we on the Republican side say so through our framework that we clearly seek better support for farmers.”

Including the average 15 percent boost in reference prices for covered crops in the new Senate GOP framework, similar to the House committee-passed bill.

But Grassley concedes reigning in the Secretary’s power to update SNAP benefit levels to pay for higher crop supports remains a non-starter. Grassley says, “I don’t know that he has the power to do what he did through the Thrifty Food Plan, but if he did, it’s still too much from our standpoint. And that’s a possible source of revenue, but it’s something Chairwoman Stabenow doesn’t want to touch.”

Leading Republicans to also look at the CCC as a funding source by limiting the Secretary’s discretion to spend on things like climate, which again is a big policy difference with Democrats. And despite House Republicans moving their farm bill, House GOP leaders want to tackle spending bills first, while back in the Senate, Grassley says he’s heard nothing about a date for Senate committee action.

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service and Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau

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