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Grassley continues call for tighter eligibility requirements

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says a recent GAO report confirms his belief that USDA needs to improve its oversight of federal farm payments.

The report found that USDA does not adequately monitor farm program compliance reviews. Grassley says that is unacceptable.

“This lack of oversight and accountability has created a welfare system for some joint ventures and general partnerships, particularly in the South,” Grassley says.

He says he is also disappointed that USDA has backtracked on its “actively engaged in farming” rule, which would have tightened eligibility requirements.

“Farm payments should only go to those with dirt under their fingernails. Congress must close these loopholes in the next farm bill, once and for all.”

USDA FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce told Brownfield the reason for the change to the “actively engaged” rule was to correct a mistake. He said it was never their intent to impose more stringent restrictions on members of family farming corporations. 

Grassley made his comments during a conference call with ag reporters.

AUDIO: Excerpts from Grassley’s comments

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