Congressman Steve King

Representing the 4th District of Iowa

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King: Farm Bill Passage is a Victory for Iowa Agriculture and Biofuels

Dec 12, 2018
Press Release

Legislation contains important King initiatives

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Steve King, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, releases this statement following House passage of the conference report accompanying H.R. 2, the Farm Bill. King voted in favor of the legislation, and it contains several important agriculture and biofuel initiatives successfully championed by King. The Farm Bill passed the House on a vote of 369-47, with King voting in favor of passage. The legislation will now be sent to President Trump for his signature.

“Iowa’s farmers want a Farm Bill that provides predictability, while also enhancing our ability to trade in foreign markets, and this bill accomplishes both of these goals,” said King. “I am pleased that the final bill contains important provisions that I requested, including the ‘Genome to Phenome’ language that was a priority for Iowa State, vaccine bank language promoting the development and storage of GMO vaccines in the United States to deal with sudden outbreaks, and full funding for the Market Access Program which promotes foreign trade of our agricultural goods. This Farm Bill is a victory for our producers, it meets Rural America’s immediate need for greater trade, and it’s shameful that partisan politics prevented it from passing sooner.”

Congressman King was successful in getting the final version of the Farm Bill to include many of his proposals. Among the major King initiatives in the Farm Bill conference report are:

  • Title 1 ARC payments for farmers will now be based on the physical location of the farm, a major win for 4th District farmers;
  • CRP payments have been brought under control (now 90% for continuous contracts and 85% for general contracts). Reforming CRP payments is the number one change sought by Congressman King’s Ag Leadership Committees;
  • King-backed “Genome to Phenome” language will allow Iowa State to further its research into the impact on crops of weather, environmental, and production systems;
  • Vaccine bank legislative language now allows for the production and storage of GMO vaccines in the United States which will result in a quicker and more effective national response to curtail emergency outbreaks of diseases like FMD. King raised this issue with Secretary Perdue during an Agriculture Committee hearing on February 2;
  • The Energy Title was preserved as a separate title in the Farm Bill, a designation King insisted upon in order to protect mandatory funding for important biofuel programs;
  • Full Funding for the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program requested by King to enhance the ability of Iowa’s producers to engage in international trade;
  • Increased funding for “Beginning Farmer” loans by $6 billion, while also increasing loan amounts available under the program. The new loan limits are: Guaranteed Loan Limits $1,750,000 (up from $1,400,000), Direct Operating Loan Limits are now $400,000 (up from $300,000) and Direct farm Ownership Loan Limits are now $600,000 (up from $300,000);
  • Increased the rural minimum standard for broadband internet service which means that rural areas, like Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, will now be provided with greater connectivity speed

 

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