Payment limit measure saves $1.5 billion

Senators Charles Grassley and Tim Johnson say the deficit reduction committee can save more than $1.5 billion if the two senator’s legislation is adopted placing a $250,000 cap on farm payments per married couple or $125,000 per individual.

Senator Grassley told reporters Tuesday that the measure maintains a safety net for farmers while closing loopholes. He says changes to commodity programs should include provisions preventing 70 percent of federal farm payments from going to 10 percent of the nation’s biggest farmers.

“Farm programs need to return to the original intent, which was making sure that there’s a safety net for small and medium sized farmers to help them get over rough patches that are out of their control, like natural disasters,” said Senator Grassley, Tuesday.

The legislation, introduced in June, sets, for a married couple, specific caps of $40,000 on direct payments and $60,000 on counter-cyclical payments. It also provides a cap of $150,000 on marketing loan gains, loan deficiency payments, and commodity certificates. Further, the bill improves the standard USDA uses to determine whether farmers are actively engaged in their operations.

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