Grassley Says Vilsack Wrong on Lowering Farm Bill Expectations

A top Senator says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s call for the GOP to lower its farm bill expectations is “wrong.” Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley isn’t buying it, not given the state of U.S. agriculture today.

Asked about Secretary Vilsack’s call for Congressional Republicans to get practical and ‘lower their farm bill expectations,’ Grassley had this; “It isn’t reasonable to expect the Agriculture Committee to lower those expectations below reflection of the inflation that’s happened in farming costs since 2018.”

Grassley says maybe Vilsack is right when he claims the House committee-passed farm bill uses “Harry Potter” style ‘invisible cloaking’ to hide its true costs. But as far as lowering expectations to boost the farm safety net, Grassley said “then he’s wrong.”

Meantime, Grassley agrees with a growing perception here that Senate farm bill talks have reached a stalemate. He says, “Because of the inability to reach some compromise on a new farm bill, a five-year farm bill reflecting the inflation that we need that has happened since the 2018 farm bill for diesel, interest, seed, fertilizer, chemicals. I applaud the House for moving where they have, and they may pass one, but I think we still have these big differences that we have to work out in the Senate.”

Prompting Grassley to again predict the need for another one-year extension of the outdated 2018 farm bill.

Story by Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau, courtesy of NAFB News Service