Sunday Talk: Feenstra on Appointments and Farmland Protection
In this week’s roundup: My reappointment to the Agriculture Committee, meeting with Iowa Corn, and the debut of my weekly column. That and more — remember to follow my Facebook page by clicking here to stay up-to-date throughout the week!
SERVING IOWA’S FOURTH DISTRICT ON THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE
Commitment. It’s a word that evokes hope, promises leadership, and delivers results. No other word in the English language constitutes a more ironclad bond between individuals than a commitment. Roughly four months ago, House Republicans made our own commitment – a Commitment to America – that we would rebuild our economy, end wasteful spending, stand up to the Chinese Communist Party, and defend the American Dream for every person, family, and community who calls our great nation home.
Because of our commitment, the American people entrusted Republicans with the House majority, not to regurgitate empty rhetoric, but to deliver real results. I’m proud to say that, in the first weeks of our new majority, Republicans delivered on our promises.
First, we fought for hardworking American taxpayers, families, and small businesses. When President Biden signed into law his so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which funneled $80 billion in taxpayer dollars to the IRS to hire 87,000 new agents, Republicans pledged that we would defund this ridiculous expansion of government. And we did.
Despite what the Democrats claim, the IRS does not exclusively audit billionaires and large corporations. According to the Government Accountability Office, more than 90% of audits target American families who make less than $400,000 a year, and President Biden himself has made clear that his administration will audit pass-through businesses with assets greater than $200,000, which includes most family farms and small businesses in the U.S. Additionally, according to IRS data, low-income families who claim the earned income tax credit are five and half times more likely to be audited than any other individual. It’s not rocket science. Supercharging the IRS with 87,000 new agents will only raise taxes on middle-class families, cause unnecessary headaches for small business owners, and target honest, hardworking American taxpayers. The Senate should pass this bill and President Biden must sign it.
Second, we fought for America’s farmers, producers, and rural communities. By establishing, for the first time in our nation’s history, a select committee to investigate the Chinese Communist Party, we will hold China’s feet to the fire for stonewalling investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and infiltrating rural America through massive farmland purchases. This new committee – through hearings, subpoenas, and rigorous oversight – will also hold China accountable for defying our trade laws, stealing our intellectual property, surveilling our children, and violating the sovereignty of free nations across the globe. To compete with China in the 21st century, we must assert and cement our unyielding economic, military, and technological dominance. I’m confident that this committee will help us do just that while maintaining global security and protecting our national interests.
Third, we fought for America’s energy producers and Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel industries. In the United States, we are blessed with an abundant supply of energy – from ethanol and biodiesel to natural gas and oil – to power our nation, keep the lights on, and fuel our economy. Therefore, it is common sense that our emergency oil reserves should be used for emergencies only – right here at home for American families, not for financial gain or policy blunders. Regrettably, just months ago, President Biden sold oil from our reserves to China to compensate for his war on
American energy production. No price – no matter how high – justifies supplying China with American-made energy. That’s why Republicans – and more than 100 Democrats – voted to permanently end oil sales from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China: a victory for our families and energy independence. While President Biden has depleted our oil reserves and coddled the Chinese Communist Party, Republicans are united in standing up to China and restoring American energy dominance.
The 118th Congress is off to a roaring and productive start. In one week alone, we made real progress to strengthen our economy, protect taxpayers, defend farmers, and take on China – because our Commitment to America is not just empty rhetoric. It’s a conservative movement. As a unified conference, we are actively delivering on the promises that we made to the American people, and I promise that our work has only just begun.
IOWA HOUSE DELEGATION DEMANDS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HOLD MEXICO ACCOUNTABLE FOR UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Little progress was made during a meeting between US and Mexican government officials on Jan. 23 on Mexico’s plan to phase out the use and importation of genetically engineered corn by Jan. 31, 2024, according to US trade officials who participated in the meeting.
US Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor and Office of the US Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip said US officials continue to engage with their Mexican counterparts at the highest levels to address their “grave concerns” with Mexico’s biotechnology policies.
“We appreciate the active engagement between US and Mexican government officials following US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s trip to Mexico in November, and the proposed modifications to the presidential decree shared by Mexico at the end of 2022,” McKallip and Taylor said. “However, these changes are not sufficient and Mexico’s proposed approach, which is not grounded in science, still threatens to disrupt billions of dollars in bilateral agricultural trade, cause serious economic harm to US farmers and Mexican livestock producers, and stifle important innovations needed to help producers respond to pressing climate and food security challenges.”
If Mexico follows through with the import ban, the economic consequences would be devastating for US farmers and Mexican consumers, according to a recently released study by World Perspectives, Inc. The study found the US corn industry would lose $3.56 billion in the first year following a full ban, proceeded by a $5.56 billion loss in the second year, according to the report’s estimates. Over the 10-year forecast period, the corn industry would experience a $13.61 billion economic loss.
Mexico cites health concerns, but such a trade restriction could violate the US-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.
“We made it clear today that if this issue is not resolved, we will consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce our rights under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” the US trade officials said.
ONE MORE THING: BEST OF LUCK TO IOWA STATE ALUMNUS, BROCK PURDY, IN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!ONE MORE THING: BEST OF LUCK TO IOWA STATE ALUMNUS, BROCK PURDY, IN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!
In a run that has been nothing short of amazing, I want to wish Brock Purdy the best of luck as he takes on the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship to advance to the Super Bowl!
We are government together, and I am here to serve you. Your thoughts, concerns, and comments are very important to me. Always feel free to call (202) 225-4426 or visit my website at feenstra.house.gov.