Two US Senators Applied For Trump’s Farmer Bailout Package

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).Screengrab/C-SPAN/YouTube

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Tester (D-Mont.) have applied for relief via President Trump's bailout package.

Two U.S. senators have opted to take advantage of President Donald Trump’s $12 billion bailout for American farmers, intended to offset the negative effects of Trump’s trade war.

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Tester (D-Mont.) both applied for the federal assistance for their farms, according to HuffPost.

In the spring, Grassley issued a statement saying that the Trump administration had a “responsibility to help” farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs set by China after Trump enacted tariffs against Chinese imports.

Bailout money isn’t being provided to other industries impacted by the trade war. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already cut some 7,800 checks worth a total of $25 million for farmers, many in the swing states of the Midwest that voted for Trump in 2016.

It remains unclear just how much either senator will receive from the bailout.

“Sen. Grassley participates in farm programs for which he is legally eligible, including this program, like every other farmer,” his spokesman Michael Zona told the Post. The typical farmer, however, does not impact Trump administration policies the way senators can.

Tester’s spokesman told the Post in an email that he, “like most Montana farmers, is feeling the impacts of the escalating trade war,” and is calling for an end to the tariffs.

According to HuffPost, several other members of Congress are eligible to apply for assistance, though it is unknown if they have or will do so.

Twelve members have said though they are likely eligible, they will not attempt to secure the funds.

The USDA has refused to identify farmers applying for or receiving the bailout checks. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for those records. “One way or the other, EWG plans to get this information so that taxpayers who are paying the tab know where their money is going,” the organization said in a statement.

While the bailout program has been pitched as aid to struggling farmers, Grassley’s net worth was listed in 2015 as $3.3 million, and Tester’s was $3.9 million that year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  

Read more here.

Comments (2)
No. 1-1

Yes, but you had better do a bit of research on Jon Tester. He is NOT at all like Grassley. Jon is what Montana is all about. My mom was born and raised in Montana on a wheat ranch my grandfather from Germany homesteaded in 1913 near the town of Choteau. Before you paint Jon with the same brush as Grassley, you need to find out who Jon Tester is. He is one of the farmers who was seriously hurt by trump's tariffs. I have donated to Jon's campaigns every time he's run because he stands for what this country really needs. He could use your help even more now. READ THIS!

From Wikipedia - "Tester was born in Havre, Montana,[2] one of three sons of Helen Marie (née Pearson) and David O. Tester. His father was of English descent and his mother was of Swedish ancestry.[3] Tester grew up in Chouteau County, near the town of Big Sandy, Montana, on land that his grandfather homesteaded in 1912.[4] At the age of 9, he lost the middle three fingers of his left hand in a meat-grinder accident.[5] In 1978, he graduated from the University of Great Falls with a B.S. in music.[6]

Tester then worked for two years as a music teacher in the Big Sandy School District before returning to his family's farm and custom butcher shop.[7] He and his wife continue to operate the farm; in the 1980s, they switched from conventional to organic farming.[8][6] Tester spent five years as chairman of the Big Sandy School Board of Trustees and was also on the Big Sandy Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Committee and the Choteau County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) Committee.[9]" ......and a whole lot more.