Rep. King Continues Fight For Farm Bill Amendment

Rep. Steve King steps up defense of interstate commerce amendment as HSUS pushes ad campaign

Published on: Nov 13, 2013

However, the amendment's largest opponent, the Humane Society of the United States, remains centered on concerns of animal welfare.

In a "fact sheet" posted Nov. 8, HSUS says the King amendment could reverse animal welfare laws in several states. Cited examples include horse slaughter bans, foie gras production and shark fin commerce.

HSUS' lobbying arm, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, has reportedly unleashed a $100,000 online ad campaign to ensure the amendment is not included in the final farm bill, according to a Nov. 5 report from political news outlet The Hill.

An uphill battle?

Regardless of online ads and special interest lobbying, it could be a lengthy battle to get the amendment into the final farm bill. Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., remains a known opponent. And, a similar amendment is not included in the Senate version.

Still, King, a farm bill conferee himself, defends the elements of the amendment, citing ulterior motives from what he calls the "vegan lobby."

"Their agenda is to take animal products out of our diet, meat off of our plate," King says. "Don't be trying to take away my meat, my milk, my eggs, my cheese – that is what they're trying to do – raise the cost of production so they can reduce the consumption and turn us all into vegans. But we should all understand their agenda."

King also says his amendment does not affect animal welfare, like the HSUS lobby might suggest, and instead makes sure producers are in control of livestock care.

"The best people to manage our livestock are the ones that have a vested interest in it," King says. "That's why I want to leave it in the hands of our producers and my amendment preserves and protects the right of our producers to take care of their livestock as they see fit."