Tuesday, July 24, 2007

King Says 'Urban Interests' Meddling with Farm Bill

U.S. Rep. Steve King said Friday he is worried about "urban interests" that have "co-opted wide swaths" of the 2007 Farm Bill.

The bill, which passed out of the House Agriculture Committee last week, might face challenges when it comes up for a vote by the full House this week, said King, who represents Iowa's largely agricultural 5th District and is a member of the ag committee,

"The budget of the commodities title was greatly reduced, while simultaneously the nutrition title was increased," King said in a press release. "We kept the title intact, but essentially, we are seeing money taken from Iowa's cornstalks and sent straight to the cities."

King, a Republican, said this is the result of "San Francisco, Pelosi-led politics." California Democrat Nancy Pelosi is speaker of the House.
"We're seeing nothing short of the urbanization of the Farm Bill. It's wrong, and we need the help of every agriculture voice out there to stop this before it gets worse during the House floor debate," he said.

But King did have a lot to say about what he likes in the bill. "The bill should help maintain Iowa's leading role in world agriculture," said King, "and features many updated policies to help producers." He noted his approval of the bill's provisions for dairy producers, and some of the environmental provisions in the bill.

"I made sure the committee included provisions to protect family farmers from attack by environmentalists who have tried to claim that manure is toxic waste," King said. "My provision should make sure farmers aren't forced to follow senseless environmental regulation."

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