King amendment wouldn't nullify state laws

Rep. Steve King defends his farm bill amendment to protect interstate commerce under undue barriers from production mandates.

In a Politico event Nov. 14, Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) took the opportunity to clarify the importance of his farm bill amendment coming under attack from animal rights groups.

He said his amendment would restore regulation of interstate commerce to Congress, not to the states.  It's okay to overregulate producers in your own state, but not other states, which acts as a tariff barrier, he explained.

He said legislators from California have spoken out against King's amendment, stating the need to protect their producers in California. "That's not good enough for the other 49 states," King said. "We can't sit back and wait this to be litigated."

Although groups allege that his amendment would nullify 176 state laws on production practices, that is "not true," he said.

The only one he's confident would be overturned would be California's law mandating production practices for out-of-state egg producers. Michigan's law on egg production standards may also need to be overturned as a result of his amendment.

"The language is solid," he said. If it wasn't, we'd be hearing more from states, FDA or state veterinarians, he added.

He said in the conference committee he hopes legislators can get "down to the facts" and let the constitution and truth prevail.

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