Congress Still Negotiating Farm Bill Number

House and Senate leadership still trying to agree on price tag.

Published on: Feb 27, 2008

Congress has returned from the Presidents' Day recess and a final dollar amount over baseline for the Farm Bill still hasn't been reached. Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is disappointed in what has been accomplished.

"I don't see a lot of progress since a week ago," Grassley says. "My staff doesn't see a lot of progress and they've been involved in the one week that I was home in Iowa."

Grassley says Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., says the Farm Bill needs to be done by the end of this week. Technically it has to be done by March 15, and while Grassley doesn't rule out a midnight hour deal, he says the suggested short timeline should be respected.

"Don't forget that Senator Roberts is the authority on agricultural legislation of the 535 of us," Grassley says. "He should be given some credit for his timeline."

If a Farm Bill isn't reached by March 15, Grassley says he told his constituents in Iowa last week that he sees a one-year extension of the current Farm Bill rather than reverting to farm legislation from 1949.