M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Reporters and Editors
RE: Senate passage of 2012 farm bill
DA: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Senator Chuck Grassley made the following comment about Senate passage today of S.3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012. Grassley voted for the bill which passed 64 to 35.
“The farm and nutrition bill is the only piece of legislation passing Congress this year that will save $23 billion, with the lion’s share of that savings coming from farm commodity programs. Otherwise, about 80 percent of the cost of the bill is for nutrition spending, and more should be done in that area to help shrink the budget deficit.
“The agriculture portion of the legislation passed today recognizes the value of American farmers in providing a safe and stable food supply. I especially appreciate support both in committee and the full Senate for reforms I’ve long sought to strengthen farm programs with effective payment limits. The commodity program safety net was designed to help small- and medium-sized farmers weather downturns and stay in business when circumstances out of their control negatively impact the market or destroy their crops.
“The payment limits I sponsored and got included in the bill install a hard cap on commodity program payments of any kind and close loopholes in the farm program that have allowed non-farmers to qualify for federal payments. The safety net needs to be effective and defensible. These changes are good for farmers and taxpayers.”