Iowa State Representative Steve King hopes to debate California’s Proposition 2 bill this week, seeking to amend requirements he says would protect states and feed competition.
California’s Proposition 2, passed in 2008, requires hens to have enough room to stand and spread their wings inside their cage. The bill also requires that egg sellers who sell their product in California comply with the state law.
King, who calls his plan trade protectionism, said he is concerned about other states regulating the nation.
"After a while, you end up with a patchwork quilt of 50 states with different regulations and it's impossible to comply with them," King said. “It’s exactly what our founding fathers wanted to avoid.”
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King added that California had made a mistake, but would not allow one state’s blunder to effect the nation.
However, both Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jeff Denham have cited an agreement that would contradict King’s statements – that is, the deal between the Humane Society and the United Egg Producers to standardize cage sizes nationwide.
United Egg Producers represents 90 percent of America’s egg producers, and would seem to challenge King’s perception that Proposition 2 would hurt farmers.
"We've both compromised. It’s not our ideal system,” said Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the U.S. Humane Society. "But it's a measurable advance that will not just apply to California, but to Iowa, Indiana, Missouri — the rest of the nation."
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The Rules Committee met Tuesday to decide which amendments would be allowed a floor vote.