Passing the farm bill this year is a tall order, but perhaps easier than it would be next year. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa says he’s pushing for the measure’s passage this year and he hopes Senate Agriculture Committee leaders will also urge Senate leadership to get the measure up to the Senate floor.
“Because it would be really advantageous for all agriculture all over the United States to get it up [to the Senate floor], because next year we’ll have a lower baseline,” said Grassley, during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “It’ll be a little more difficult to write a bill than it is this year. If we get it written now, it’ll probably be unchanged for 5 or 6 years.”
The Congressional Budget Office determines a bill’s so-called baseline by spending authorized in the bill itself or by what is currently appropriated for a specific bill. The farm bill baseline will shrink next year resulting in less money if federal farm policy formation is put off until then, said Grassley.
The GOP lawmaker has held town hall-type meetings in his home state and by his own account, has fielded very few questions about the measure passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee a couple of weeks ago.
“Just basically, nothing negative,” said Grassley.
That may be a reflection of current higher commodity prices, said Grassley.