Grassley Says Super Committee Needs to Rely on Expertise of Each Committee

Senator sees hope for passage of payment limits for farm programs.

Published on: Aug 26, 2011

Each of the individual Congressional committees are supposed to provide the Super Committee, which is tasked with finding ways to reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over 10 years,  with recommendations by mid-October.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is hopeful the Super Committee will rely on those recommendations when developing their proposal.

"I think if they don't rely on the committees they aren't going to have the expertise or the knowledge base to accomplish what they want," Grassley said. "Plus I think it would be more difficult to get a product through the Congress."

As for what the Agriculture Committee will suggest, Grassley's not sure they will have a chance to get very detailed.

"Now I doubt if we are going to have the time to actually write a Farm Bill between now and October," Grassley said. "But I would think that we could probably settle on some broad outlines and then whatever contribution they expect from agriculture that they would rely on where we think that money ought to come from."

Grassley says that appears to be the concept Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is promoting and practicality dictates. But when it comes to one specific matter, payment limits, Grassley believes he might have a better chance of getting his plan through. It just might not be by recommendation of the Agriculture Committee.

"I think the same interests that don't want a hard cap, or at least to the extent that I want it or maybe a hard cap at all are still going to be there," Grassley said. "But it is to my benefit and the benefit of good fiscal policy in saving this amount of money, and it gives me more leverage than I think we've had in the past because in the past it was just whether or not you believed in a hard cap or not believed in a hard cap as opposed to now we've got to find some places to save money."

In June, Grassley and Senator Tim Johnson, D-S.D., introduced legislation that would set a farm payment limit of $250,000 for married couples, capping direct payments at $40,000, counter-cyclical payments at $60,000 and marketing loan gains, loan deficiency payments and commodity certificates at $150,000.