Grassley Presses USDA to Implement New Storage Facility Loan Program

March 31, 2009 07:00 PM
 

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Blames USDA's slow farm bill implementation process in getting regulations issued

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter Tuesday to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding the delay in implementing a revised storage facility loan program which is mostly used for grain bins.

The program has low-interest financing so that producers can build and/or upgrade farm storage. The program was expanded in the 2008 Farm Bill, but Grassley charged that USDA “has been very slow in getting many of the Farm Bill changes implemented, but this is one that ought to be relatively simple because there's quite a history behind these programs, I'll bet, going back to the 1930's, at least the 1940's when we were talking about the grain bank.”

Grassley said the facility loan program is “fully paid for and, obviously, in a time of high unemployment, it would create real jobs in Iowa. And we know the president's always talking about things that need to be done to stimulate the economy, and this is exactly the type of spending that would put people to work.”

Grassley said the USDA “hang up” has to do with releasing the regulations for the program. “I assume that the regulations that were under the old farm bill wouldn't be applicable to the 2008 Farm Bill. And this is probably a lower priority than a lot of other things like the safety net for farmers.”


Comments: On this topic, there is little defense for USDA's turtle-like approach to implementing the program. There are still a lot of career staffers who can get the work done, so what is stopping them? Probably lawyers!


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 

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