Knoxville — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) reported moments ago that ending direct payments through the Farm Bill will hit Iowa farmers more than any other state.
As previously reported in the Journal-Express, the new Farm Bill is expected to save $23 billion. Included in the savings is the end of direct payments to farmers.
"Iowa's going to lose more than any other state in this Farm Bill," Grassley said during a telephone interview Thursday morning. Iowa farmers receive more direct payments than those in other states.
Grassley is also working to cap the amount a farming operation can receive from the federal government at $50,000 annually. He is concerned that, while the Farm Bill is designed to help farmers in need, 75 percent of the monetary assistance through the program is received by 10 percent of the nation's largest farming operations.
While the bill is known as the "Farm Bill" it is inclusive of conservation, food stamps and other programs. If passed and signed into law this year, the bill will be good through 2018.
The Farm Bill is just one of the major bills Grassley would like to see the Senate pass before the election. Grassley has previously expressed his disappointment in the lack of action by the Senate on meaningful bills under Majority Leader Harry Reid. Other actions Grassley would like to see taken include extending wind energy tax credits, the Defense Authorization Bill and the Flood Insurance Program.
On Eric Holder
Grassley, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been busy questioning Attorney General Eric Holder regarding document requests made 18 months ago. Grassley made the request regarding a gun-running program known as "Fast and Furious." The program was designed to follow guns as they made their way to Mexican cartels. One of the guns America provided was used in the murder of a US Border Patrol agent.
Holder has only produced a small percentage of the documents requested and is facing contempt of Congress charges by the House of Representatives. Sen. John Corsyn of Texas has called for Holder's resignation, but Grassley said he is not yet to that point.
"It looks to me like Holder is finally waking up," Grassley said. He spoke with House Speaker John Boehner about the contempt charge. The understanding is that Holder has approximately a week to produce the documents requested, or he will be charged with contempt. At that point, Grassley will seek Holder's resignation.