Federal legislators lay out goals for 2018

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley is seen in Lake City last year. 

 When the clock turns over at midnight Dec. 31 and starts the new year, plenty of Americans vow to make changes in their lives, or set goals for the next year.

Iowa’s legislators are no different. The Graphic-Advocate reached out to federal and local elected officials, to see what their goals are for 2018. On the federal level, trade agreements and protecting Iowa’s farmers rank high.

“I hope we get (the North American Free Trade Agreement) renegotiated,” Iowa’s senior Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican, said, adding that while Congress isn’t directly involved in those discussions, it is up to the U.S. Senate to approve the new terms.

Rep. Steve King, R-4th, also mentioned NAFTA as an area of focus for next year.

“We need to hold NAFTA together, or even improve treaties, so agriculture is not penalized,” King said. He would also like to see treaties protect Iowa’s manufacturing industry.

The new Farm Bill also needs to protect Iowa agriculture, both with crop insurance provisions and through bolstering interstate commerce rules. King said he’s been concerned for several years about California controlling agricultural practices in other states by enacting laws and then requiring out-of-state ag product providers to adhere to those rules. 

Read more in the Jan. 3 edition.