Grassley supports separate
farm, food stamp bills
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley says farmers would be better served by a farm bill that separates agriculture programs from food stamps but he doubts separate measures will pass.
House Republican leaders are considering separate farm and food stamp bills to get the support of conservatives who voted against the farm bill last month.
Grassley says Iowans tell him they want farm measures separated from food stamps.
For decades rural lawmakers have added money for food stamps to the farm bill to gather urban votes for the measure.
Grassley says a combined bill costing $900 billion over 10 years makes it look like farmers are dipping into taxpayer's pockets. In reality 20 percent of the farm bill pays for agriculture programs while 80 percent supports food stamps and related programs.