Christie Vilsack’s Shameless Politicization of Iowa’s Drought



Christie_VilsackIowa hasn’t seen a summer like this since 1957,  Iowa’s crops, corn in particular, are at risk which in turn will have a trickle down effect on our economy as we see food prices go up.

Leave it to Christie Vilsack to not let a crisis go to waste in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District race against Congressman Steve King (R-IA) by politicizing our drought.  First we have an email that a reader forwarded to me that was sent by Vilsack Communications Director Sam Roecker out to their supporters:

We’re in a record drought. Our farmers and livestock producers are struggling. There’s a farm bill in the House right now that could provide some relief to producers — but Congressman Steve King and the Republican leadership are refusing to bring it to the floor.

Click here to demand that Congressman King stop playing politics and stand up for drought assistance by passing a farm bill!

This issue is too important for partisanship and gridlock to get in the way. Already, the Senate has passed a bipartisan farm bill that saves money, while protecting programs vital to rural America. The House needs to follow their lead and move their bill forward before it’s too late.

Click here to demand that Congressman King stop playing politics and stand up for drought assistance by passing a farm bill!

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner told reporters last week that the drought wasn’t enough reason to bring the farm bill to the floor, saying that current subsidies for crop insurance "should be sufficient to deal with this problem." He doesn’t seem to realize that disaster aid programs for livestock producers authorized in the 2008 farm bill already expired last September — and will leave producers without assistance if Congress fails to act.

Steve King isn’t doing much better. In fact, in an op-ed he wrote over the weekend, King completely ignored the fact that passing the farm bill would reauthorize disaster programs that provide relief to Iowa farmers and producers. Instead, he focused on his amendments to the bill, none of which dealt with disaster programs or support for rural communities.

It’s time for Congressman King to take the drought seriously and demand that leaders in his own party move the farm bill forward. The 4th District deserves a member of Congress who will take the drought seriously and work across party lines to break the gridlock in Washington.

Click here to demand that Congressman King stop playing politics and stand up for drought assistance by passing a farm bill!

It’s absolutely crucial that our farmers and producers receive the aid they need, and they need it right away. It’s up to us to make sure that Steve King gets the message.

Sincerely,

Sam Roecker
Communications Director
Christie Vilsack for Iowa

Then on their website they wrote:

Despite a record drought affecting farmers and communities across Iowa, Congressman King has yet to mention the fact that without a farm bill, farmers and communities will be left without disaster assistance.

It’s time for Congressman King to take the drought seriously and demand that leaders in his own party move the farm bill forward. The 4th District deserves a member of Congress who will take the drought seriously and work across party lines to break the gridlock in Washington.

Then they took to social media… on Twitter:

On Facebook:

Christie-Vilsack-Facebook

I find it amusing that while the Roecker says, “This issue is too important for partisanship and gridlock to get in the way” he promotes the very partisanship he says should be avoided in dealing with this drought.

Putting the partisanship aside, the Vilsack campaign neglected to do their homework before politicizing the drought.  Congressman King has called for a vote, and he has joined the other members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation to do so.  He also had two of his own amendments to the bill pass, and as a senior member on the House Agriculture Committee helped to see  the House version of 2012 Farm Bill, H.R. 6083, passed out of committee.

Just today he released a statement saying drought assistance can’t wait:

As I have said for months, we need a Farm Bill.  Farmers and producers rely on the predictability that a Farm Bill provides to make decisions about their operations for next year. Current authorization for federal farm programs will expire on September 30. This would be a troubling situation in any year, but with the record drought that’s currently scorching Iowa and so many other states, the need for a Farm Bill – and the disaster assistance programs contained within it – is critical.

I joined 79 other House Members in a bi-partisan letter to our leaders urging swift action on the bill, and I will continue to work with Chairman Lucas, Ranking Member Peterson, my Ag Committee colleagues, and every other interested Member in pressing House leaders to bring this bill to a vote before we return to our districts for the August work period. And I will also continue to work with my colleagues from Iowa to push for other legislative measures, like the Agriculture Disaster Assistance Act that we introduced as a state delegation, to specifically address some of the harmful effects of this drought. Since May, I have said I want this done by August. The drought makes its passage urgent, now.

Christie Vilsack needs to drop the partisan rhetoric and lies while Congressman King actually works to help provide relief to Iowa’s farmers.

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