King’s Amendment Strengthening EQIP Soil/Water Conservation Program Adopted
Amendment Making Drainage Districts Eligible for EQIP Contracts Added to the Farm Bill
Washington, D.C.- Congressman Steve King, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, announces that he has added an amendment to the Farm Bill that strengthens the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by authorizing drainage districts to be eligible to compete for EQIP contracts. EQIP is a voluntary conservation program run by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service that provides agricultural producers with financial resources and help to plan and implement conservation practices that improve the quality of soil, air, and water.
Congressman King’s amendment also garnered the backing of Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, who joined the debate to speak in support of the King amendment.
“There are roughly 2,000 drainage districts in the state of Iowa, but the important part of this is that we’re concerned about water quality, water management, and nutrient management.”
To watch the debate and voice vote on King’s amendment, click here.
The House of Representatives began consideration of the Farm Bill yesterday afternoon. The King amendment passed by voice vote on Wednesday evening. The Farm Bill is expected to receive a vote on final passage in the House on Friday, May 18.
Prior to today’s introduction of his EQIP amendment, King successfully placed the text of his “Protect Interstate Commerce Act” (PICA) in the Farm Bill during Agriculture Committee markup of the legislation. King’s PICA legislation is designed to end unconstitutional efforts by some states to regulate the means of production or manufacture of agricultural goods in other states. As one example, the State of California is attempting to prevent the sale of eggs that are raised in any state which does not adhere to California’s burdensome regulations governing cage sizes. Such restrictions are an unconstitutional infringement on Congress’s constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce. King’s legislation is necessary because without the protections PICA provides, producers from states that do not comply with the shifting regulatory whims of a state like California would lose access to important markets.