Iowa senator's Farm Bill vote uncertain

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WASHINGTON  (Gray DC) -- Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is still undecided on the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill.

Grassley was the lone down vote as the Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry voted on the bill.

Grassley wants limits on who can receive agricultural subsidies and says a loophole in current law allows “Wall Street bankers” to receive taxpayer funds meant to help farmers.

Grassley said, “They might be involved in the farming operation, through telephone call now and then, but they aren’t getting dirt under their fingers, and they shouldn’t qualify.”

A Grassley spokesman says the Iowa senator will attempt to get his loophole change into the Senate’s Farm Bill by offering it as an amendment.

Grassley voted against the full Farm Bill in 2014 after a similar provision was removed from the bill as the Senate and House tried to combine their respective bills.

The American Farm Bureau, which aims to be the national voice for farmers and ranchers, has not taken an official position on Grassley’s effort.

However, Andrew Walmsley the bureau’s congressional relations director, expressed concerns.

Walmsley said, “Anyone who is involved in the farming operation who are exposed to risk should be available to use risk management tools.”

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