Wednesday, October 23, 2013

GOP sponsor says key Democrats back his measure to block state laws on inhumane agriculture

Steve King
Rep. Steve King of Iowa, the third-ranking Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, said key Democratic support makes him expect the final Farm Bill will include his legislation to "prohibit states from enacting laws that place conditions on the means of production for agricultural goods sold within its own borders but produced in other states," reports Agri-Pulse, a Washington newsletter. "The language is not included in the Senate-passed farm bill."

King said he has the support of the House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), ranking Democrat Collin Peterson of Minnesota and four Democratic members of the conference committee that will resolve differences in the House and Senate versions.

The Humane Society of the United States opposes King's legislation, "saying it would annul several state bans on 'inhumane factory farming practices' and rules regulating agricultural practices," Agri-Pulse notes. The Humane Society said the amendment "includes a definition of agriculture so broad it would override any state law regulating agricultural products and end-products."

King argues that "the Constitution reserves the regulation of interstate commerce to the Congress, not the states," Agri-Pulse reports. King told the newsletter, “The (amendment) prohibits states from entering into trade protectionism by forcing cost prohibitive production methods on farmers in other states." King explained his act in an editorial in National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Agri-Pulse is subscription-only but is available for a free trial by clicking here.

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