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"The House farm bill opens the door to unlimited subsidies, said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley on Tuesday, urging adoption of a $125,000 per person limit available only to actual farmers. Grassley told reporters that he will seek the same limit in the Senate version of the farm bill. “Without this limit, there is no limit,” said Grassley, who endorsed an amendment by North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows for a $125,000 per year cap on payments to active farmers, their spouses, and a farm manager who performs at least 520 hours or one-quarter of the management work on the farm. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to decide which amendments will be considered during House debate. “I haven’t had any trouble in the last two farm bills. I assume I’m not going to have any trouble this time,” responded Grassley when asked if he would propose strict payment limits in the Senate. He is a member of the Agriculture Committee. Grassley has tried for years to put muscle into weak USDA rules on eligibility for farm payments. The House and Senate voted for the a hard cap during work on the 2014 farm law but the language was deleted during final House-Senate negotiations. Almost anyone can be designated as a manager at present and can collect farm subsidies. The House farm bill would allow cousins, nieces, and nephews to collect subsidies and would remove limits on payments to some forms of corporate farming. Also during the teleconference, Grassley said the EPA should heed President Trump’s strong support of corn ethanol and stop awarding “hardship” waivers that exempt small refineries from the Renewable Fuel Standard. “They better or I’m going to be calling for (EPA administrator Scott) Pruitt to resign,” said Grassley."

Posted May 16th, 2018