Republican Senators question Vilsack’s use of CCC to fund climate smart initiatives
Another Republican U.S. Senator is joining Roger Marshall of Kansas in voicing concern about USDA using Commodity Credit Corporation funds to launch climate smart initiatives.
On his weekly call with reporters Tuesday, Chuck Grassley of Iowa questioned Ag Secretary Vilsack’s plan to tap into the CCC to provide grants to farmers under the newly announced Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program.
“Over my 40 years (in the U.S. Senate), I see the CCC doing to support bad economic times or political decisions that hurt agriculture, like an embargo. Or like Nixon freezing beef prices, etcetera etcetera. Not to start a new program.”
In a news release, Marshall said “it seems USDA is crafting its own farm bill by using the CCC to create its own programs that have not been established by Congress.”
Grassley tells Brownfield Vilsack will have trouble securing the money to get the climate program off the ground.
“There won’t be anything backing up his decision in the omnibus appropriation bill because I think the people on the Agriculture Committee would think that decisions like this should be written in the next farm bill.”
Marshall says Congress has set an annual limit of CCC funds that can be used on programs like this and has requested copies of transcripts and meeting notes to clarify who was involved in creating the programs and who approved the funding.