Politico reported that top ag lawmakers admit the new farm bill won’t be passed by the Sept. 30 expiration of the current legislation.
On Sept. 26, Agriculture Committee Chairmen Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and Ranking Members Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said progress continued on the farm bill.
“Each of us is still at the negotiating table, and we remain committed to working together on a Farm Bill,” their statement said. “Our conversations are productive, and progress toward an agreement is taking shape. We are going to get this right.”
As negotiations continue, other lawmakers continue to advocate for provisions they support.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, along with Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Ron Kind of Wisconsin, wrote a letter to the four chairpeople, urging them to maintain the payment limit provisions passed by the Senate in the final 2018 Farm Bill.
“The Farm Bill is an $860 billion spending bill that impacts every single American. While there are significant differences between the House and Senate bills, there is one area where overwhelming bipartisan, bicameral agreement exists – allowing only one additional manager per farm entity to be eligible for $125,000 in farm subsidies of $250,000 if the manager is married,” the lawmakers wrote. “We do not believe the farm safety net should provide unlimited payments to farmers year after year.”
The 2018 Farm Bill is currently being debated by a bicameral Conference Committee. Language in the Senate’s Farm Bill more closely aligns with the needs of small and family farmers, and curtails the abuse of certain subsidy payments. The House bill lifted payment limits, allowing for more corruption and misuse of taxpayer dollars.
Grassley’s payment limitation amendment passed both the House and Senate during the 2014 Farm Bill debate but was killed in the Conference Committee.
Source: Office of Sen. Grassley, Office of Sen. Pat Roberts