Grassley talks cattle bills, E15, WOTUS, school meals |

Grassley talks cattle bills, E15, WOTUS, school meals

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said today he is confident that he has the votes to get the two cattle bills the Senate Agriculture Committee will markup on Tuesday through the committee and passed on the Senate floor if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., brings them up.

In a call to reporters, Grassley said the committee will “finally” hold a markup on the cattle bills: the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act and the Meat and Poultry Investigator Act. He said he is “confident” of the votes in committee and on the floor. He said he did expect amendments but would not describe them as “poison pills.”

Of the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, which passed the House by a vote of 221 to 204 last week, Grassley said, “Thank God, they got that through by a slight margin.”

He said he hopes Schumer will bring that bill to the Senate floor after the July 4 break.

Grassley also noted that Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., has agreed to cosponsor the Price Discovery and Transparency bill, which means it now has 10 Republican and 10 Democratic cosponsors.

Reacting to a report that President Biden has had second thoughts about backing E15 gasoline, Grassley said that people don’t have trouble if they tell the truth all the time, but if Biden says one thing in Iowa and another in Washington, it will hurt his reputation.

With the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act including an E15 provision, Biden would be “out of step with his own party” if he backs down on his support for the higher level ethanol fuel, Grassley said.

Reducing the gasoline tax would only encourage demand while the problem is supply, Grassley said. Biden’s energy policies have hurt production, he added.

On the roundtables on the Waters of the United States rule that the Environmental Protection Agency is holding around the country, Grassley called the events “dog and pony shows,” and said he and other senators had met with EPA Administrator Michael Regan in the office of Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., last week.

Grassley said he had shown Regan a map that indicated 90% of the land in Iowa would come under WOTUS and noted that several courts have ruled against the Obama-era WOTUS policy. Regan said EPA is going to be careful to write a policy that the agency can defend in the courts. Grassley said he urged Regan not to finalize the WOTUS policy until the Supreme Court acts on WOTUS cases.

Grassley signaled he would not support an extension of school meals program waivers, which expire on June 30. Grassley said that Congress had taken “drastic” action to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic but that now that it is over “you would expect things to go back to normal.”


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