Grassley, FRAC oppose Farm Bill
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, announced today that he would oppose the farm bill conference report.
Grassley has expressed disappointment that the payment limitation provisions in the bill are not as strict as he advocated, but previously said he was undecided about how he would vote.
In a speech scheduled for delivery on the Senate floor late today, Grassley acknowledged that “there are a few things this bill does that are good.”
“The dairy provisions have ended up more market-oriented than where we started, which I believe is a very good thing,” Grassley said. “I’m glad the crop insurance program will remain strong for farmers across the country. And the nutrition program reforms are welcomed.”
Then he added, “But if I were to vote ‘yes’ on this bill, it would be an endorsement of the egregious manipulation of my payment limit reforms behind closed doors. I cannot in good conscience do that. Therefore, I will oppose to Agricultural Act of 2014.”
Meanwhile, the Food Research Action Center said this week it would encourage members to vote “no” on the bill due to the cuts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP or food stamps, that Grassley praised as “reform.”
FRAC President Jim Weill posted a message on the group’s website.
“The SNAP cuts in the conference bill amount to $8.6 billion over 10 years,” he said. “The bill has modest boosts in nutrition supports in respects (e.g. for The Emergency Food Assistance Program, for ‘double bucks’ farmers’ market programs, for improved SNAP education and training programs, for Healthy Food Financing). These are small positive steps but are far from commensurate to the SNAP damage in the bill.”
“We appreciate that key conferees and other Senators and House members spoke and acted to reject the far larger harmful cuts proposed by the House,” Weill added. “But FRAC believes the $8.6 billion SNAP cut is deeply harmful.” F
–The Hagstrom Report