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Iowa Rep. Steve King is a darling of the tea party who claims to support states’ rights and local governance. So it’s curious that his most recent and high-profile legislative effort is focused on consolidating power in the federal government to a degree that would make members of the Politburo proud.
The King amendment, which is a part of the House version of the farm bill, dictates that “the government of a state or locality therein shall not impose a standard or condition on the production or manufacture of any agricultural product sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce if (1) such production or manufacture occurs in another state; and (2) the standard or condition is in addition to the standards and conditions applicable to such production or manufacture pursuant to (A) federal law; and (B) the laws of the state and locality in which such production or manufacture occurs.”
In simpler terms: King’s amendment will create a race to the regulatory bottom on issues from consumer protection to fire safety to animal welfare by dictating that no state can require any condition on the sale of any agricultural product that falls even one step above that of the least restrictive state.
Despite states’ clear interest and long-standing authority in these areas, Steve King thinks that the federal government knows best and should tell Iowa, Mississippi, Oklahoma and all other states what they can and can’t do.