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13th Congressional District E-Newsletter, 5/18/13
 
Dear friends,

For years, Congress has failed to pass a new Farm Bill, instead relying on short-term fixes and extensions. I’ve long held that simply kicking the can down the road and refusing to make difficult decisions is not the responsible way to govern. We owe it to our agriculture sector to pass a long-term farm bill to give them the certainty they need to plan for the future.

I was proud to be a part of the 10-hour Farm Bill markup process in the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday. The Farm Bill approved by our committee is a five-year bill and was passed on a bipartisan vote of 36-10. This important piece of legislation saves nearly $40 billion by eliminating outdated government programs and reforming others, strengthens our nation’s crop insurance program and builds on previous investments to fruit and vegetable production, farmers markets, and local food systems. 

Additionally, two amendments that I introduced to the Farm Bill were approved by the committee on Wednesday. The first amendment simply requires the Agriculture Department to review any Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule, policy, or guidance document affecting agriculture prior to release. Farmers are good stewards of the land who help our economy and produce our food. Before the EPA’s next proposed rule or regulation impacting agriculture hits, agriculture should have a seat at the table to play a role in the process.

The second amendment I introduced will protect farmer' access to seed and address an EPA overreach by clarifying that imported seeds treated with pesticides are not regulated as pesticides. Recently, the EPA began requiring the same Notice of Arrival (NOA) form used for imported chemical pesticides on seed import shipments. However, all seed shipments that enter the U.S. are already accompanied by documentation required by the USDA and Customs. This amendment is a simple solution that clarifies that the NOA is not needed for seed shipments.

I recapped the Farm Bill markup process with Gale Cunningham on WYXY Radio in Champaign on Friday. You can listen to the interview here.

Also this week, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee approved H.R.3, the Northern Route Approval Act, a bill to put an end to years of bureaucratic delays and finally allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline project. This project will create 42,100 jobs, exceed safety standards of previous pipelines, give us the opportunity to increase U.S. energy security and be part of an “all-of-the-above” energy policy.

Click here to view my comments on the bill during the committee debate.

If you haven’t already, be sure to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and check out my YouTube channel to stay informed on everything I’m doing on your behalf in Washington and in Illinois.

As always, it is truly an honor to serve you. Please contact my staff in Washington, DC at 202.225.2371, Champaign at 217.403.4690, Decatur at 217.791.6224 or Taylorville at 217.824.5117 if we can be of any assistance to you, or if you’d like to share your thoughts on the issues before Congress.

In service,

Rodney Davis


FAA Air-Traffic Control Towers

Late last week the Department of Transportation announced that the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 will enable the Federal Aviation Administration to end employee furloughs and keep the 149 air-traffic control, towers originally slated for closure in June, open for the remainder of fiscal year 2013, including towers in Bloomington, Decatur and Bethalto.

I was extremely pleased with the announcement and am glad the Department of Transportation and the FAA have finally admitted what we’ve known all along, that they have the flexibility they need to make sensible, responsible cuts to their budget without putting politics before passengers. The decision to maintain traffic control tower operations and end employee furloughs is welcome news for local airports, especially in Bloomington, Decatur and Bethalto, and for communities, hard-working taxpayers and job creators.

Video of the week


On Tuesdsay I spoke on the floor of the House about the IRS targeting scandal and the Department of Justice obtaining the phone records of reporters and asked my colleagues to put politics aside, lead by example and work together.

Photo of the week

Thanks to the Illinois Lincoln Series Class of 2013, including Charlotte Miles from Champaign, for meeting with me in Washington this week.

Rodney in the news

Conversation with Lee Presser

House Ag Committee Passes 2013 Farm Bill

Congressman Davis on WTAX with Bob Murray 5-17-13

Legislation Authorizes Study of Entire Mississippi River Basin

Decatur Airport tower to remain open -- for now

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