Senator Chuck Grassley today said that a new cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office shows that his provisions to place a hard cap on farm payments and ensure that farm payments go to people actively engaged in farming save $387 million over 10 years, which is an additional $210 million over previous estimates.
Grassley asked the Congressional Budget Office to rescore his provisions after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in October 2013 showing a great deal of subterfuge of the current actively engaged law, with one farm claiming it needed 16 active “managers” who didn’t have to verify work on the farm. The GAO wrote that the legislative language in the Senate and House passed farm bills would be an appropriate fix to the agency’s findings.
“With a $17 trillion debt, any additional savings are a tremendous benefit,” Grassley said. “The majority of Congress backs these provisions and the last two presidents have been supportive of significant reform like this. Both the House and Senate bills contain our common sense reforms. It’s a no brainer to keep the provisions as is. It would be short-sighted to allow a parochial mindset to undermine important and necessary reforms.”
The Grassley reform in the Senate and House farm bills ends some of the most egregious abuses of the farm program, makes sure that the farm program payments are going to those who need them most, and saves money.