Pella Chronicle

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

July 30, 2013

Loebsack talks farm bill, NSA during Ottumwa visit

OTTUMWA — Rep. Dave Loebsack said on Monday two factors pose serious hurdles to getting critical legislation, including a farm bill, passed before the 2014 political campaigns will likely block progress.

A five-year farm bill that would have cost a half-trillion dollars but cut $2 billion annually from food stamp programs failed in the House in June.

Loebsack, in Ottumwa for a tour of the city's water plant, said time is dwindling before the congressional summer recess. If Congress fails to advance a farm bill before then, as seems likely, he said it will leave very little time between the members' return to Washington, D.C., and the September deadline for the most recent farm bill extension.

That leads into Loebsack's second concern, which he called “the general dysfunction of Congress.” Getting anything accomplished is a challenge, let alone getting something produced on the scale of the farm bill in the time left.

Loebsack isn't convinced nothing will happen, though he said Congress must be willing to have meaningful discussions on the issues in order to produce results.

The same goes for the National Security Administration surveillance programs, which have come in for criticism from members of both parties. An amendment proposed last week would have restricted the circumstances in which the government could collect information. Loebsack voted for the amendment, which failed in a 205-217 vote.

The vote was closer than many expected, and Loebsack believes it could be a starting point for changes.

“I think we have to start a conversation,” he said. “Congress has to take more of a role.”

Even that won't happen quickly, though. Loebsack said Congress needs to hold hearings on domestic surveillance and must establish oversight on those efforts.

1
Text Only
CNHI/Southeast Iowa
Features
Facebook
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Obituaries