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A bipartisan bill would place a hard cap on farm payments and close current loopholes to ensure payments flow to working farmers.
Closing the current management loophole is widely viewed by commodity program and legal experts as the linchpin to any attempt to stop current abusive practices that allow absentee and largely passive investors to receive millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.
"A farm safety net aimed at the farmers it was originally intended to help is crucial to ensuring a safe and stable food supply. We simply cannot continue to see 10 percent of the biggest farmers get 70 percent of the farm payments. If we continue along this path, we’re going to see support slide for a farm and nutrition bill, when it’s just as critical as ever,” said Senator Grassley.
“The farm safety net was designed to help family farmers but it has increasingly led to a windfall for owners of our nation’s largest farms. Congress should act to close the loopholes and better target payments to our small and mid-sized family farmers. This legislation represents our best chance to move forward with reforms as consideration of the farm bill continues,” said Senator Johnson.
“NSAC commends Senators Grassley and Johnson for introducing this fiscally-responsible and common-sense piece of legislation,” said Obudzinski. “This bill will ensure that taxpayer dollars are well spent by targeting farm payments to family farmers. The bill will save money and also allow for targeted reinvestment in rural economies, beginning farmers, and agricultural research.”
The Rural America Preservation Act is very similar to previous versions of the same bill offered by Senator Grassley during several previous farm bill debates, including one co-sponsored by former Senator Bryon Dorgan (D-ND) which won strong majority bipartisan support on the Senate floor in each of the past two farm bill debates.