WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, spoke on the U.S. Senate floor on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, about protecting the farm safety net calling on Congress to close the loopholes in the Farm Bill that allows the exploitation of federal spending programs.
Below is an excerpt of his remarks:
I’ve long fought to strengthen the farm safety net so that Iowa family farmers are protected from natural disasters or unforeseeable events like flooding and wind storms.
Family farmers work hard to make sure Americans have food on the table and operate on thin margins. They ought to qualify for help during tough times since losing these operations would risk the nation’s food supply.
However, taxpayers and non-farm state lawmakers may stop supporting a federal farm safety net if spending programs aren’t held accountable and are left unchecked.
That’s why I’m deeply concerned about USDA’s recent proposal to roll back rules that put teeth in the definition of “actively engaged in farming.”
Long-lost relatives – who’ve never lifted a finger on the farm should not get away with collecting farm payments.
USDA’s decision to backtrack on their rule means more mega-farms will take advantage of this loophole.
Congress must close these loopholes in the next Farm Bill once and for all.