Grassley Disappointed with House Approach to Farm Program Payment Limit
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is disappointed with the approach to payment limits in the draft farm bill released by House Agriculture Committee leaders Thursday. He says the grassroots have called for sensible commodity program caps to prevent subsidizing big farm operations with taxpayer dollars so they can get even bigger. In addition - Grassley says it's important to ensure farm payments go to actual farmers. He notes the Senate-passed farm bill included provisions to limit payments - including a 50-thousand dollar cap on the Agricultural Risk Coverage program, the closing of loopholes exploited by non-farmers and a 75-thousand dollar cap on marketing loan gains and loan deficiency payments. Grassley says the House draft doesn't even stick with the status quo for payment limits.
According to Grassley - the measure would have a farmer choose between a counter-cyclical program and a revenue program and increase the farmer's cap to 125-thousand dollars regardless of the program chosen. He notes direct payments currently have a limit of 40-thousand dollars per farmer and the counter-cyclical program has a limit of 65-thousand dollars. Further - he says the draft bill would not place any cap on the amount of benefits any one farmer could receive from the marketing loan program. Grassley calls it an indefensible approach for farm programs - and encourages the House Ag Committee to take a serious look at the common sense and meaningful payment limit reforms the Senate adopted and adopt the same approach.
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