Grassley: Standoff between House and White House jeopardizes the Farm Bill
The standoff between House Republicans and the White House over budget spending and borrowing puts this year’s Farm Bill in jeopardy, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). In a call with agriculture reporters on Monday, the Senate Agriculture Committee member said the 2023 bill needs to be drafted by June 15th.
“We have to have something done by September 30th,” he said, “and we don’t meet during August. If they aren’t done on time, then we extend the existing Farm Bill for one year.”
The Senator also said spending “guardrails” might be a part of the new bill. Grassley is among republicans who have criticized USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s executive spending after recent increases for SNAP and other programs.
“I raised the same issue when several other members of the Senate Ag Committee did when Vilsack was before us. And I think the point is to make sure that there are certain guardrails put in place. I don’t have any in mind right now, but I think it’s going to be an issue when we bring up the farm bill.”
Secretary Vilsack has repeatedly defended USDA against the spending attacks, arguing Congress itself granted his department discretion on SNAP and Commodity Credit Corporation spending.
The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging lawmakers to pass a farm bill on time that meets new funding challenges, protects crop insurance and commodity programs, and ensures adequate USDA staffing and technical support.