FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tues., Oct. 2, 2018
IOWA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES CALL ON YOUNG, KING AND BLUM TO DEMAND A VOTE ON THE FARM BILL
~ House recesses through midterm elections before voting to renew the Farm Bill ~
Des Moines, IA – Following the Farm Bill’s expiration, Iowa’s Democratic Congressional candidates, Cindy Axne, Abby Finkenauer and J.D. Scholten, urged U.S. Representatives David Young (IA-03), Rod Blum (IA-01) and Steve King (IA-04) to demand House Republican leadership renew this crucial legislation in order to protect Iowa farmers and provide much-needed stability for the agriculture industry. On Friday, the House recessed two weeks earlier than scheduled through the midterm elections before voting to renew the Farm Bill, which expired Sunday after the Republican-held House and Republican-held Senate failed to reach a deal.
In a letter sent to U.S. Representatives David Young, Steve King and Rod Blum, the group called on the Representatives to demand Republican leadership return for a session to vote on a compromise bill.
“Once again, Iowa farmers are paying the price for Washington dysfunction,” the Democratic Congressional candidates wrote. “During this time of incredible uncertainty due to Trump’s trade war, Iowa’s farmers simply cannot wait until after the midterm elections before this legislation is renewed. It is fundamentally unfair to leave Iowa’s farmers on the hook because Congress is, yet again, unable to do its job.”
The letter was sent following an op-ed written by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, expressing his disappointment in the inability of Congress to reach a compromise. In the op-ed, which ran in the Des Moines Register, the Senator said, “if negotiators can’t find a way to compromise and pass sensible reforms in a new Farm Bill, it will expose a severe lack of leadership in Congress and show that congressional leaders aren’t serious about truly working on behalf of the people.”
The Farm Bill, which must be renewed every five years, provides crop insurance and other safety net programs for farmers. The expiration will affect 39 so-called orphan programs that have funding tied to the 2014 Farm Bill. Farmers struggling with dropping commodity prices and President Trump’s trade war are now faced with further uncertainty and a lack of funding for critical programs, including a widely used trade promotion program.
Text of the letter is available here and below:
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
U.S. Congressman Steve King
2210 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
U.S. Congressman David Young
240 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
U.S. Congressman Rod Blum
1108 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressmen King, Blum and Young:
As you know, the Farm Bill expired yesterday, threatening 39 so-called orphan programs, many of which provide critical support for Iowa’s farmers. As commodity prices are dropping and the cost of President Trump’s trade war grows, Iowa farmers desperately need stability and consistency to make long-term plans and investments.
Once again, Iowa farmers are paying the price for Washington dysfunction. The Farm Bill has been a bipartisan tradition for decades, which makes it even more disappointing that Republicans in Congress failed to reach a compromise on this crucial legislation.
Iowa’s Congressional leadership has a responsibility to protect an industry that is not only an economic driver and job creator in the state, but the bedrock of our culture here in Iowa. Iowa farmers rely on this legislation to provide for their families and to feed people at home and around the world.
During this time of incredible uncertainty due to Trump’s trade war, Iowa’s farmers simply cannot wait until after the midterm elections before this legislation is renewed. It is fundamentally unfair to leave Iowa’s farmers on the hook because Congress is yet again unable to do its job.
We strongly urge you to publicly demand House leadership calls Congress back to session until a compromise is reached.
Democratic Candidate for Iowa’s 3rd District
Democratic Candidate for Iowa’s 1st District
Democratic Candidate for Iowa’s 4th District