Grassley-Conaway spat continues

The public spat over farm payment limitations continues between Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and House Ag Committee chair Mike Conaway.

Grassley and Conaway traded verbal jabs last week over the lack of farm payment reforms in the House version of the farm bill. Grassley—a longtime advocate of tighter payment rules—continued the discussion Tuesday in a conference call with ag reporters, saying there are too many loopholes in current law.

“I think Conaway should explain why it’s a good use of taxpayer dollars to remove the 900-thousand dollar income limit for subsidies and also make subsidies unlimited in his farm bill…and explain why any of these egregious loopholes makes sense,” Grassley says.

Grassley is pushing for tougher payment limitations to be included in the Senate Ag Committee version of the farm bill, which is expected to be released in June.

“Members of Congress are supposed to stewards of taxpayer dollars. It’s our job to use taxpayer money efficiently and where it’s needed most,” Grassley says. “To me, that doesn’t include giving millions of dollars of farm subsidies to people that work on Wall Street or other places where they don’t get dirt under their fingernails.”

Grassley says when non-farmers receive big government subsidies, it hurts public support for real farmers.

AUDIO: Excerpt from Grassley’s conference call with ag reporters

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