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Grassley Apologizes to Fischer on Airing Cattle Market Bill Conversation, Says Approach Will Be Whatever Strategy Works

A top Senate Ag Republican publicly apologized to another for divulging a private conversation on cattle market pricing reform, while separately admitting a big fight ahead on renewed payment limit efforts.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told reporters last week, fellow Ag Republican and Nebraskan Deb Fischer no longer wanted their joint Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act included in the farm bill. Fischer’s office said she felt the best path to getting the bill enacted is as a “separate legislative effort.”

Grassley says, “First of all, I owe an apology to Senator Fischer. I was speaking about a private conversation, and I have no business relaying what somebody else says in a private conversation.”

Grassley may now be backing off his farm bill approach. He says, “The need for the cattle bill is great, and however Senator Fischer and I, working together, can get the job done, along with Senator Tester and a lot of others, there’s 12 Republicans and ten Democrats on that bill. So, we’ve got a big bunch of a bipartisan group fighting for the cattle feeder, and we need to continue to do that.”

Separately, Grassley will renew his push in the farm bill for payment limits, but fears the same kind of fight that he lost in 2015 when farm bill conferees scrapped his limits passed in both chambers.

Grassley, “I can just imagine, we’re going to have the same division between Southern agriculture and Midwest agriculture on this point of view, and I don’t know what it’s going to come out, but I have a responsibility to keep trying.”

The 2018 farm bill set a $900,000 adjusted gross income threshold to receive certain farm payments.

Grassley’s introduced a $250,000 hard cap on farm payments, arguing ten percent of farmers get 70 percent of farm payments, support, he says, the biggest don’t need.

Story courtesy of the NAFB News Service

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