Does Congressman King really think Iowans don’t see the truth about the House version of the farm bill? Because his weekend guest column for the Sioux City Journal ignores the truth about the drastic cuts in the bill:
“The Farm Bill is more than an agriculture bill - it’s a jobs bill, an energy bill, a conservation bill and a research bill. As a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, I know that the Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of federal legislation Congress considers this year because 16 million jobs in our economy are associated with agriculture. It is especially beneficial to Iowans since agriculture is an integral part of our lives.” – Rep. Steve King, Sioux City Journal, 7/22/12
Congressman King’s wishful thinking is apparent to anyone who has taken the time to look at what the House version of the farm bill means to Iowans. It has a dramatic impact on the needs of Iowans, including:
- Defunding programs which have supported renewable energy programs in the state
- Slashing rural development programs responsible for nearly 2,000 jobs and improvements in 80 Iowa communities during the last year alone
- Kicking 280,000 children off of the school lunch program
- Cutting $16.5 billion from SNAP, despite the fact that 16 cents of every dollar goes directly to farmers like those in Iowa’s 4th District
Not only is this bill irresponsible, the House refuses to even bring it up for debate. If gridlock continues, the farm bill will expire at the end of September, further jeopardizing the well-being of farmers and communities across the district. The urgency is made even greater as a record drought continues to affect the state and the fact that the House will spend all of August in recess.
This is far too important of an issue to let partisanship and gridlock get in the way. The Senate was able to pass a bipartisan bill that stands up for rural America and jobs for small towns and cities in the 4th Congressional District, but the House has refused to do so.
The farm bill deserves a serious discussion, not wishful thinking that ignores the true impact of the House farm bill on Iowans. Congressman King should be demanding that the House pass a farm bill that reauthorizes disaster programs and supports rural communities in the 4th District.