Success! Senate Passes Farm Bill Without Steve King’s Terrible Amendment

The future of agriculture in the United States depends on the 2018 Farm Bill, according to the president of the National Farmers Union.

“The $800 billion piece of legislation serves as a tourniquet for the hemorrhaging of family farmers from the food system, and as the nutrition safety net for consumers who cannot afford to buy food,” Roger Johnson wrote.

That future looks mighty bleak, based on an amendment Rep. Steve King of Iowa added to the bill. His “Protect Interstate Commerce Act” (HR 4879) would negate most state and local laws regarding the production or manufacture of agriculture products.

Gone would be regulations protecting animals, including those concerning puppy mills, eggs from battery-caged hens, horse slaughter, shark finning, and the sale of cat and dog meat, as just a few examples.

And that’s not all: HR 4879 would also remove protections for consumers and the environment, such as laws regarding food safety, environmental requirements and child labor.

Unsurprisingly, more than 200 animal, environment, agriculture and consumer groups oppose HR 4879. Over 60 of them sent a joint letter to Congress urging legislators not to pass it.

HR 4879, the letter states, aims “to drive a race to the bottom – if any one state in the union tolerates the production or sale of a particular agricultural product, the other 49 must do so as well.”

More than 28,000 people have signed a Care2 petition started by the Doris Day Animal League that urges Congress to reject HR 4879. “If passed, this amendment could undercut the will of the people across the U.S.,” the petition states. “For instance, states like Massachusetts that have banned the sale of eggs from hens confined to battery cages would be forced to sell these eggs.”

King had tried and failed to add a similar amendment to the 2014 Farm Bill. Fortunately, he’s failed again, at least in the Senate’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The Senate has passed its version by an overwhelming majority — and it does not include HR 4879.

What kind of human being would introduce such an appalling act? The kind who believes dog fighting should be legal, supports bans on contraception and makes extremely racist remarks.

Senate Version Includes PAWS Act and Pet Meat Ban

Along with the removal of HR 4879, there’s more good news for animals and people in the Senate version of the Farm Bill. It includes these measures:

  • The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, which would include pets in federal domestic violence protections and authorize grant money so domestic violence shelters can accommodate pets or arrange for accommodations. Only three percent of these shelters currently allow pets, meaning the vast majority of domestic violence victims must choose between their own safety or that of their dogs and cats.
  • An amendment that prohibits the domestic slaughter, trade, and import/export of dogs and cats for human consumption. Although killing dogs and cats in commercial slaughterhouses is against the law throughout the US, it’s currently legal to kill them for food in 44 states.

House Version Still Includes HR 4879

The next step is for the Senate and House of Representatives to resolve the differences in their respective versions of the Farm Bill.

Unfortunately, HR 4879 still remains in the House version, along with other disturbing measures such as major cuts to and new work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), which serves more than 40 million Americans every year.

All House Democrats voted against this version of the Farm Bill. Hopefully HR 4879 and the other terrible measures will be removed from the final version.

Take Action

Please sign and share this petition asking all members of Congress to support a final version of the 2018 Farm Act that does not include HR 4879.

Want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling? You, too, can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

 

Photo credit: Juhan Sonin

110 comments

Jeramie D
Jeramie Dabout a month ago

Thank God. Now free them all.

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R1 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Ann B
Ann B2 months ago

I would like to see STEVE KING in a tiny cage for a year or so.....powers that be over rode him YAY

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M s
M s2 months ago

REMOVE rep steve king of iowa FROM OFFICE GET HIM OUT!!!!he is an evil vicious subhuman Why hasn;t he been VOTED OUT of power??????

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Pietro Maiorana
Pietro M2 months ago

Buone notizie, sempre accettate!!

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tammy C
tammy C2 months ago

tyfs

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beba h
beba h2 months ago

Thanks for sharing and encouraging animal activists that perseverance pays off.

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Amanda McConnell
Amanda M2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda McConnell
Amanda M2 months ago

noted

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Veronica B
Veronica B2 months ago

Good news!Thanks .

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