Yesterday was the first official meeting of the Farm Bill Conference Committee. It was a chance for members to put forth their priorities in the upcoming negotiations.
For California Democrat Representative Jim Costa, the removal of the so-called “King Amendment” is crucial. “It is clearly targeted at California producers,” he says. “This amendment is not only anti-Californian, but if you think about it, it sets up a one-size fits all policy to be determined in Washington. For those of you around this table that believe you’re a federalist, this is anti-federalism. It basically says that we know better than the states to act on their own behalf.”
Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Iowa says he developed the amendment because the commerce clause in the Constitution prohibits trade protectionism between the states. “I will go deeper into this amendment as we discuss this,” he says. “The bottom line of it is that no state should be allowed to regulate the production in other states. Any state, including California, is free to regulate or over-regulate their producers, but not to regulate the other 49 states.”
Yesterday’s opening remarks were the just the first step in a process that could take weeks or months to complete.
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