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Iowa Watchdog

Iowa’s congressional delegation cashes in on farm subsidies


DES MOINES – Members of Congress from Iowa and their families continue to collect thousands in farm subsidies, raking in more than $73,000 in 2012, according to a newly released report.

CASHING IN: Some members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are cashing in on farm subsidies.

CASHING IN: Some members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are cashing in on farm subsidies.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and U.S. Reps. Tom Latham and Steve King, all Republicans, and their family members benefited from the federal dollars in 2012, according to the Environmental Working Group, a leading environmental research and advocacy group.

The group’s report did not show any subsidies for U.S. Reps. Bruce Braley and David Loebsack or Sen. Tom Harkin, all Democrats.

Iowa ranks second in the nation for the $24.9 billion in subsidies its farmers received from 1995 to 2012. The state last year brought in $739 million in federal dollars, according to the group.

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Specifically, here’s how the figures for Iowa’s congressional delegation break down:

  • Grassley and his sons Pat and Robin Grassley collected $28,784 in 2012. That brings the family’s total farm subsidies in the past 16 years to more than $975,000. Grassley serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
  • Latham’s family members collected nearly $8,000 in 2012, bringing their total from 1995 to 2012 to at least $131,500. Latham’s occupation is listed as a farmer, although there weren’t any subsidies tied directly to him in EWG’s report. Latham serves on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee for Agriculture.
  • EWG’s report shows Steve King and Jeff King collected a combined $36,340 in 2012. Their 16 year total is more than $1.2 million . Brittany Lesser, spokeswoman for Rep. Steve King, did not return phone calls to confirm the two listed in the report were indeed the congressman and his son. Rep. Steve King serves on the House Agriculture Committee.

Grassley spokeswoman Jill Gerber did not return phone calls.

Grassley and King both collected more than the state’s average annual payment among the top 10 percent of recipients, whose payments averaged $34,500. Grassley averaged $60,959, while King’s average annual payment was $78,000.

Contact Sheena Dooley at Sheena Dooley is the Iowa bureau chief for, where this story first appeared.

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