Rumor: Senate farm bill has holds as Grassley demands payment limits
June 20, 2018
Two senators, probably Republicans, have placed a hold on the senate farm bill, a well-connected lobbyist told The Hagstrom Report on Tuesday.
The lobbyist declined to name the senators. The offices of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., did not return calls asking for clarification of the situation.
Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said he would support the bill if the Senate passes a payment limits amendment he will offer.
In an op/ed article released by his office, Grassley noted that during the 2014 farm bill debate "my payment limit legislation was passed by both the house and senate. During conference committee, which is where any differences between the house and senate versions of a bill are resolved, my legislation was altered, a violation of congressional rules."
Because the 2018 farm bill draft developed by Roberts and Stabenow did not include payment limit reforms to his liking, Grassley did not vote for it in committee.
"I will, however, offer an amendment on the senate floor to include common-sense payment limits in the farm bill. Since my amendment passed in the house and senate during the last farm bill, it should pass again. If it does, I will proudly support the bill's final passage," Grassley said.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he wants the senate to take up the farm bill before the July 4 recess. But the senate has been so focused on other issues this week that nothing has been said about the schedule for the farm bill.