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Grassley to vote no on farm bill, Harkin, yes; Iowa’s House members vote for bill

Author: Kristy

Jean Caspers-Simmet, simmet@agrinews.com | Updated 
The new farm bill:
 

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, doesn’t support the House-passed farm bill.

 

• Repeals direct payments and shifts funds to strengthening risk management.

• Reduces the maximum Conservation Reserve Program enrollment to 24 million acres.

• Creates a dairy margin insurance program that protects base production for the life of the farm bill and creates a new product purchase program when margins are less than $4.

• Requires conservation compliance to receive crop insurance premium assistance.

• Trims $8 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

• Gives producers the choice between two counter-cyclical safety net programs: Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage.

WASHINGTON —When the Senate votes on the House-passed farm bill, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, will vote no.

The Senate vote is planned Feb. 4 and the bill is expected to pass and be signed by President Obama.

Grassley expressed dismay that his payment limitation reforms were weakened in the bill’s final version.

There are things in the bill that are good, Grassley said. More market-oriented dairy provisions, a strong crop insurance program and nutrition program reforms are all welcomed.

“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,” Grassley said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, a farm bill conferee, said the bill isn’t perfect but it is a sound, balanced bipartisan bill.

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