Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley told agriculture industry leaders assembled at a summit Saturday that he’s embarrassed by the Senate’s lack of policy successes this year.
“I’m kind of embarrassed to talk about policy because, so far this year, we’ve had a very poor track record, except rescinding a lot of bad Obama regulations,” Grassley said. He hopes to provide more money for farm subsidies in the 2018 Farm Bill than President Donald Trump proposes in his budget requests, but is disappointed Congress has not done much this term.
Trump proposed cutting around $38 billion in farm subsidies, an idea that has worried many agriculture groups and is opposed by many Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
Congress’s failure to repeal Obamacare, address infrastructure and pass tax reform is weighing on the minds of congressional leaders during the legislative break.
“We will fight to ensure farmers have a strong safety net so this key segment of our economy can weather current hard times and continue to provide all Americans with safe, affordable food,” Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, said in a June statement.
The current Farm Bill, which authorizes the government to spend money on agriculture programs ranging from cotton subsidies to research grants to food stamps, expires in 2018.
Both branches of Congress face a short timeline to accomplish major budget bills when they return from the summer recess. House Speaker Paul Ryan also expressed disappointment that even though Republicans have a majority in Congress and control the presidency, they have accomplished few of the big-ticket policy items.
“This is the third time in 100 years we’ve had this alignment of government that we’ve got to get it done or else I really worried our country will continue down a bad path,” Ryan said over the weekend in Wisconsin, the Associated Press reports.
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