House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus, D-Mont., met Tuesday attempting to solve the problem that has been plaguing the Farm Bill from the beginning: How to pay for it.
Tax provisions and a permanent disaster aid program are two of the major stumbling blocks that keep tripping negotiations, and White House opposition to funding ideas has also been a problem. The Administration vigorously opposed the credit card reporting revenue put forward by the House and according to Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, they don't fully support the funding from the Senate Finance Committee.
"Presumably they've signed off on about two-thirds of it because those are classified as spending reductions," says Grassley. "About one-third of ours deals with stock brokerage reporting that would raise some revenue. I hope we can get the White House to feel that there is a reasonable compromise if two-thirds is spending reductions and one third tax provisions."
Grassley says that even if an agreement on funding is reached, an extension of some sort will be needed because he doubts their ability to get the final paper done by Friday.