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Iowa Senator Grassley Pessimistic About a Farm Bill in 2018

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Iowa Senator Grassley Pessimistic About a Farm Bill in 2018

We’ve heard this week from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Corn Growers Association about their confidence in a farm bill getting completed in the lame duck session. But longtime Senate Ag member and Iowa farmer Chuck Grassley is not as confident.

“I would hope that a 5-year farm bill would pass, but I think at this point with not much success of negotiating with the house, we’re more apt to get a one year extension of the farm bill.”

And it’s not just because of the much-publicized House GOP food stamp work requirements, not in the Senate bill. Grassley points to House Ag Chair Michael Conaway’s payment limit changes, more generous to Southern producers.

“There was more in the 2014 farm bill than there is in Conaway’s approach to it in the House bill where there’s no limits whatsoever.”

Grassley’s a longtime proponent of limiting payments to farm managers and says doing so will have a better chance of making it into a new farm bill once the Democrats assume power in January. But, expected incoming House Ag Chair Collin Peterson wants a farm bill done this year, as does GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell–which has not changed Grassley’s prediction.

“It’s speculation on my part. All I can tell you is I have not heard anything positive coming out of any talks between the House and Senate. So, that’s what makes me pessimistic.”

Grassley says he hopes he’s wrong. But, the shortness and meager track record of lame-duck sessions, plus President Trump’s support of the House farm bill could prove Grassley, right.