The Farm Bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives July 11 did not include the United Egg Producers/HSUS-backed Egg Bill (H.R. 1731 and S. 820), as the Farm Bill was blocked from further amendment. The King amendment was therefore included in the House-approved bill, which passed with a 216-208 vote.
"[United Egg Producers] is disappointed that members of congress have chosen not to include legislation that would save the egg industry. It's an industry worth 7 billion dollars with more than 100,000 employees. The UEP leadership is exploring all possible options that would provide certainty and a sustainable future for U.S. egg farmers," said Chad Gregory, president and CEO, United Egg Producers.
Inclusion of the King measure, from Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), disallows a state to restrict movement of agricultural products into the state from other states and was added to the Farm Bill as an amendment by the House Agriculture Committee. Supporters of the Egg Bill have called the King amendment the "anti-Egg Bill" and that it may be found to be unconstitutional if enacted and challenged in court
If the final bill retains the King amendment, the ramifications could extend far beyond interstate egg commerce. It has the potential to nullify more than 150 state laws from various states. Many of these laws deal with animal welfare.
The Farm Bill, which passed without support of House Democrats, now heads to negotiators from both the House and Senate to reconcile the difference between the two bills. The Senate bill passed 66-27 on June 10.