Iowa needs to send someone to the U.S. House of Representatives who will serve on the House Ag Committee and fight on behalf of the Fourth District. Cattle and hog producers as well as those in the ethanol industry have reached out to tell me they are at a tipping point in their business during the COVID-19 crisis. They rightly want to know, “Jeremy, how will you advocate for us in Congress?”
Here’s what I will do:
- Support beef producers in my area and I am looking into the potential of price manipulation by the packers, something the USDA and Department of Justice need to investigate.
- Ensure our tax climate encourages produces to save in years of plenty for the years of lean and emergency by the creation of tax-deferred accounts that ag businesses can use for rainy day funds, subject to tax payments only when withdrawn. This would have been ideal during times of strength, e.g. 2008-2014. We will see ag boom again and this plan needs to be in place.
- Re-examine rules and regulations that make direct access to the marketplace easier during the declaration of national emergencies such as direct producer to consumer sales.
- Work to prevent widespread shutdown of ethanol plants by insisting that any subsidies to help during the pandemic are treated equally on a liquid fuels basis to include aid for idling or shutting down ethanol plants during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Partner with the Trump administration where there is currently not a strong relationship between our Congressman and President Trump. I will insist that the EPA not appeal the 10th Circuit Court decision on small refinery waivers and restore, as the D.C. Circuit court ordered, the 500-million gallon remand or face budgetary consequences. Over 4 billion gallons of ethanol have been lost by small refinery exemptions and RIN waivers.
The issue of beef pricing where the USDA and DOJ should enforce current law is mirrored by the US EPA subverting of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Both are a matter of decided law not being properly implemented and applied.
We need to have someone in Congress who has a relationship with President Trump and will advocate for you on the House Agriculture Committee. That is currently not the case with Congressman King who no longer sits on any committees.
I want to thank all those from the ag industry who have reached demanding answers to the hard, “What are you doing to do about this” questions. I am always here for you, and I always want to hear from you.