Both of Iowa’s senators, Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley, voted for the Senate farm bill.
But Grassley says there are a couple of aspects of the bill he doesn’t agree with.
“It spends too much overall—more belt-tightening can be made on nutrition programs,” Grassley says, “and it has a target price program which takes us backwards in farm policy about 15 years.”
But Grassley also sees positives in the bill.
“It has my payment limit reforms—and it makes crop insurance pretty much the same as it has been,” he says, “and, of course, it saves taxpayers many billions of dollars.”
Grassley says the House will need to pass a farm bill by the end of this month if there’s any hope of working out the differences before Congress’ August recess. And even though the House debate is expected to be much more contentious, Grassley believes it will get done.
“It think it’s going to be difficult not to pass a farm bill, because a one-year extension maintaining direct payments again for another year is going to be really pretty difficult to explain when everyone agrees that that money should be saved and it’s not needed.”
The House is expected to begin its farm bill debate this week.