Ag News

Senator Grassley calls for more oversight of farm program payments

IARN — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has been a loud advocate for accountability in payments that are issued as part of farm programs. During the last Farm Bill negotiation, Grassley was the only dissenting vote on approving their draft of a Farm Bill the Senate Ag Committee for approving their version of the legislation. At the time, he explained that his dissention was because he could not go along with a farm bill that had no reforms to the farm subsidy payments. Even since the passage of the legislation, Grassley has not quieted his calls for accountability.

Now a USDA decision has turned up the volume of his calls.

In November, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) eased restrictions and definitions on what they considered “active personal management” and “significant contribution” to farm payment guidelines. USDA said that this was a correction of previous guidelines which they felt were too restrictive for family members listed on farm payment forms. Senator Grassley has long charged that many of those family members were not “actively engaged”.

Senator Grassley took to the Senate Floor and to his weekly call with Ag journalists to call for accountability once again at the USDA. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the USDA needs to do a better job of overseeing their farm payment programs. Grassley expressed his disappointment with USDA’s easing of requirements for subsidy payments. Grassley says that without reforms to subsidy payments, we will see urban lawmakers and voters stop supporting aid to farmers and rural America.
For more on this story, including audio with Senator Grassley, visit the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.
Photo Courtesy of Senator Grassley’s YouTube Channel
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