"Ag program reforms like my payment limits initiative will be necessary to meet goals for spending reductions," Grassley said. "And it’s only logical that all elements of farm-bill spending will need to be reduced, not just commodity programs and crop insurance, which account for less than one-fifth of all farm-bill spending."
One of his concerns, Grassley said during comments on the budget, was that while the plan intends to cut $23 billion from the farm programs, revised Congressional Budget Office estimates found only $13 billion could be saved if a bill identical to last year's Senate-passed farm bill was implemented.
A committee spokesman said in consulting with Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., the budget committee believed cuts can still reach $23 billion while preserving a five-year safety net.
Overall, Stabenow said during committee markup on the Senate budget that she looks forward to the flexibility that the budget allows for working on a five-year bill.
Republican Senator from Nebraska Mike Johanns, however, said that the budget was "nothing short of a fiscal fiasco on par with Obamacare" and noted he didn't think it could be fixed.
"It's a more-of-everything proposal. More taxes, more spending, more borrowing, and more debt passed on to future generations," Johanns said.
The Senate budget committee continues markup of the bill and is expected to vote before the end of the week.