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U.S. Senator Charles “Chuck” Grassley addressed a Ringgold County crowd of around 60 during his town meeting last Wednesday at the Ringgold County courthouse.
A number of issues were discussed, but the main discussion centered upon the upcoming farm bill and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) regulations within the bill.
A number of area farmers conveyed their dislike for the program, one stating, “The CRP bill was the worst thing that ever happened to Ringgold County.”
Area farmers want grazing rules relaxed on CRP ground during a drought and tighter restrictions on out-of-state owners selling the hay off their CRP ground, which they said is against the program rules.
Grassley said the new farm bill is currently being discussed and he hopes to have something passed by the end of the year. He did not specifically address the CRP concerns that were expressed.
He did say that he didn’t anticipate any change to the crop insurance part of the bill.
During his introductory remarks, Grassley encouraged constituents to communicate with his office and ask questions. He would do his best to have their questions answered.
Grassley also lamented the cost of prescription drugs, saying that Pharmacy Benefit Managers are the middlemen in the system that are driving up prices.
Other items brought before the senator, and his responses were public money used for private schools (It is a state issue not federal); Robo callers and what can be done about them (Get on the Do Not Call Registry); seeking out ways to increase bipartisanship in politics (Press often makes it sound worse that it really is); toughen libel laws (Confined by Supreme Court rulings); corruption in the FBI (It’s the upper echelon of the FBI that is the problem, not most of the local agents); Securing the southern border (Laws have been passed but the President isn’t enforcing them.); Protection for whistleblowers (More protections are needed. They embarrass the higher-ups for telling the truth.); Digital currency (He would vote against it.); Ukraine (Hard to draw conclusions right now.)