FarmPolicy

July 26, 2014

Sen. Grassley Discusses Payment Limits on Senate Floor Tuesday

Categories: Farm Bill

Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) discussed payment limits and the Farm Bill on the Senate floor today.

A news release today from Sen. Grassley’s office, which contained more specific details, indicated that, “Senators Chuck Grassley, Tim Johnson, Mike Enzi and Sherrod Brown today are introducing legislation ["The Farm Program Integrity Act of 2013"] that would place a hard cap on the farm payments an individual farmer can receive in a year and close long-abused and well-documented loopholes in the farm payment program.”

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Policy Issues (Budget); and, the Agricultural Economy

Policy Issues, Budget- Sequestration

Chris Clayton reported yesterday at the DTN Ag Policy Blog that, “The American Meat Institute is pushing back on the idea that thousands of USDA meat inspectors must be furloughed because of the impact of sequestration cuts.”

The DTN update noted that, “Responding in a statement, AMI President J. Patrick Boyle wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack ‘reminding him of USDA’s legal obligations to provide meat inspection even under sequestration.’

“As AMI stated, USDA also said that production will shut down for that time period, impacting approximately 6,290 establishments nationwide and costing roughly over $10 billion in production losses. USDA further told reporters that industry workers would experience over $400 million in lost wages and that consumers would experience limited meat and poultry supplies and potentially higher prices.

“‘We agree with the assessment that furloughing inspectors would have a profound, indeed devastating, effect on meat and poultry companies, their employees, and consumers, not to mention the producers who raise the cattle, hogs, lamb, and poultry processed in those facilities,’ Boyle said. ‘AMI respectfully disagrees with the Department’s assertion is that, in the event of sequestration, the furloughs referenced are necessary and legal. The Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (the Acts) impose many obligations on the inspected industry, which we strive to meet. Those Acts, also however, impose an obligation on the Department – to provide inspection services.’”

The AMI letter to Sec. Vilsack is available here.

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