Senate farm bill includes Grassley payment limitations amendment, others
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., today released a list of 18 amendments included in the farm bill, including one offered by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that “would amend actively engaged in farming requirements by allowing only one person or legal entity per farming operation to be considered ‘actively engaged’ in farming based on active personal management.”
Grassley said earlier this week that he had the votes on the Senate Agriculture Committee to get the amendment approved at the markup of the bill, but ran into a last-minute procedural problem that prevented him from offering it.
Grassley tweeted, “GOOD NEWS it looks like we’re on our way to the Senate adopting my amendment on payment limits in the Farm Bill so only REAL family farmers will receive them SO MUCH COMMON SENSE that Chair Roberts/RM Stabenow are including my amendment in the cmte bill.”
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said the inclusion of Grassley’s “actively engaged” amendment “is a critical first step toward ensuring more equitable commodity subsidy programs. Family farmers nationwide have been waiting for these reforms, which passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate in 2013, only to be stricken from the final 2014 farm bill at the 11th hour by congressional leadership.”
NSAC continued, “The reforms that Sen. Grassley has put forward will finally make the ‘limit’ in ‘payment limit’ mean something when it comes to taxpayer-funded commodity subsidies. We applaud Senate leadership for including much-needed payment limit reforms in their farm bill, and urge House members to adopt these provisions whole-heartedly when bill conferencing begins. Thanks to the Senate, Congress now has real options to reform the loophole-ridden commodity subsidy program in the final farm bill. We sincerely hope that common sense will finally win the day in the 2018 farm bill, and that Congress will choose to stand for family farmers and the rights of taxpayers instead of kowtowing to the nation’s most influential mega-farms and wealthy non-farmer investors.”
Other amendments may be found on the Senate Agriculture Committee website at https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/2018-farm-bill.