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Rep. Randy Feenstra

Congressman Randy Feenstra

Friday, August 27, 2021
Randy’s Roundup: Tragedy Strikes in Afghanistan

Dear Friend,

As the chaos in Afghanistan continued to unfold, Speaker Pelosi called the House back into session earlier this week to set up $3.5 trillion in spending and to pass H.R. 4, an election law that is nothing more than the Democrats’ latest attempted power grab. Their priorities are completely misguided — at this point, they have put more work into planning how to implement socialist policies than they have put into ensuring Americans and our allies are safely evacuated from Afghanistan. It is appalling, unbelievable, and completely unacceptable. Read below for more of my thoughts on Afghanistan, the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion tax and spend framework and more.

BIDEN CAVES TO THE TALIBAN, FAILS AMERICANS IN AFGHANISTAN

I am heartbroken by the bloodshed that took place in Kabul on Thursday. This was the deadliest attack in Afghanistan in a decade — 13 U.S. service members and 60 Afghans lost their lives. At least 100 more people were wounded, and President Biden has caved to the Taliban’s timeline for evacuating Americans. Reports indicate the Biden administration even gave the Taliban a list of American civilians and Afghan allies, effectively providing a ruthless terrorist organization with a hit list.

What’s worse, we left Black Hawk helicopters, rocket launchers, and other powerful military equipment in the hands of Taliban terrorists — equipment they will either use to attack innocent people or sell to our adversaries like Russia & China. This begs the question: Why didn’t we destroy this equipment before we left? Pure incompetence.

It is with these sobering facts in mind that I believe we must immediately initiate a bipartisan, comprehensive congressional investigation. Those responsible, whether it is administration officials or the president, must be held accountable for their reckless actions and failed leadership.

I encourage anyone with questions or concerns related to the situation in Afghanistan to contact my office at 202-225-4426. Additionally, if you are a veteran struggling due to these tragic events, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.

May God bless and protect our troops, allies, and all Americans who are still in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, I was honored to stand alongside Afghanistan veterans to demand President Biden evacuate every single American:

DEMOCRATS’ LATEST SOCIALIST SPENDING SPREE

Instead of focusing on pressing the Biden administration to address the debacle in Afghanistan, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats passed a bill that sets up $3.5 TRILLION in spending — that’s $3,500,000,000,000.

Democrat spending is completely out of control, and American families are paying the price with inflation. Still, President Biden and Speaker Pelosi want to borrow trillions more to pass their latest Socialist Spending Spree.

With this $3.5 trillion framework, Democrats want to raise taxes on Iowa farmers by making drastic changes to stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges, add nearly $17 trillion to our national debt in the next 10 years, and implement policies that harm workers by raising taxes on businesses and eliminating right to work protections. They also want to utilize this framework to pass Green New Deal provisions, such as methane emission fees and subsidies for electric vehicles while hardly mentioning biofuels.

Borrowing trillions to pass partisan objectives while inflation is soaring and we are barreling towards the debt limit is not just reckless; it is irresponsible, and it is a disservice to future generations.

Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats voted to make American families pay more for everyday goods and services. They voted to plunge our country even further into a dangerous debt spiral. And they kicked off a purely partisan process that benefits coastal liberals while leaving rural Americans behind.

I will continue urging my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to grasp the real-world consequences of their socialist spending sprees. We must restore fiscal responsibility in this country.

INTRODUCING BILL TO HOLD COUNTRIES ACCOUNTABLE FOR RECKLESS BIOLOGICAL PROGRAMS

On Wednesday, I introduced the Holding Countries Accountable for Negligent Chemical and Biological Programs Act, a proposal that would sanction countries that are found to be grossly negligent in handling hazardous biological programs that pose an international threat. The legislation would also require an investigation into the origins of the COVID-19.

It’s simple: If the COVID-19 pandemic began due to negligent actions or recklessness from China, they should be held accountable using the same standards as any other biological attack.

COVID-19 has now taken the lives of over 4.5 million people worldwide, and it has cost the U.S. and economies around the world trillions of dollars. We owe it to the American people to hold those responsible accountable and to take necessary steps to ensure a similar international crisis does not happen again.

Read more by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Feenstra Statement on House Passage of $3.5 Trillion Tax and Spend Framework

“Democrat spending is completely out of control, and American families are paying the price with inflation”

Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) released the following statement blasting House Democrats for setting up trillions in spending as the country faces skyrocketing inflation and a massive debt crisis:

“Democrat spending is completely out of control, and American families are paying the price with inflation. Still, President Biden and Speaker Pelosi remain bent on borrowing trillions more to pass their latest Socialist Spending Spree. With this $3.5 trillion framework, Democrats want to raise taxes on Iowa farmers by making drastic changes to stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges, add nearly $17 trillion to our national debt in the next 10 years and implement policies that harm workers by raising taxes on businesses and eliminating right to work protections. They also want to utilize this framework to pass Green New Deal provisions, such as methane emission fees and subsidies for electric vehicles while hardly mentioning biofuels.

“Borrowing trillions to pass partisan objectives while inflation is soaring and we are barreling towards the debt limit is not just reckless; it is irresponsible, and it is a disservice to future generations.

“Today, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats voted to make American families pay more for everyday goods and services. They voted to plunge our country even further into a dangerous debt spiral. And they kicked off a purely partisan process that benefits coastal liberals while leaving rural Americans behind.

“I will continue urging my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to grasp the real-world consequences of their socialist spending sprees. We must restore fiscal responsibility in this country.”

Friday, August 13, 2021
Randy’s Roundup: Uncovering Biden’s hidden tax hikes

Dear Friend,

Tucked away in President Biden and the Democrats’ spending proposal are tax hikes that will have an adverse impact on our agriculture community. For the past few months, I have been drawing attention to these tax hikes — including proposals to cap stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges. Read more on this below, and don’t forget to like my Facebook page by clicking here to stay informed on what I’m working on for the 4th District!

LATEST COLUMN: Biden’s Hidden Tax Hikes Will Disproportionately Harm Rural America

As a former chair of the Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee, I have seen the incredible economic potential that comes with cutting taxes. Unfortunately, Biden’s changes to stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges would take us in the opposite direction. His plan would raise taxes on Iowa farmers and main street business owners, harming our rural economy at a time when we need to remain focused on recovery and revitalization.

Changing or repealing stepped-up basis is the equivalent of taking the death tax and slapping on a new coat of paint. If stepped-up basis provisions are changed or altogether eliminated, individuals would have to pay hefty capital gains taxes if, for example, a farmer passes away and wants to hand over their operation to a family member. This is one of the top concerns I hear about from folks as I travel the 4th District. At a recent Farm Bureau town hall I attended in Palo Alto County, I met a 6th generation farmer who is concerned he will not be able to take over the family farm due to Biden’s plan to change stepped-up basis.

In June, I challenged Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young on the administration’s proposal to tax farm heirs. Less than two weeks later, a report published by Texas A&M’s Agriculture and Food Policy Center stated that eliminating stepped-up basis would impact up to 98% of farm transitions. Additionally, an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association found tax payments from eliminating stepped-up basis would be significantly higher than cash rents; in fact, they found that tax obligations as a percent of cash rent could reach 476% in Iowa.

To make matters worse, Biden has also proposed limiting 1031 like-kind exchanges. Similar to stepped-up basis, like-kind exchanges are important for farmers looking to retire and pass their property on to the next generation, for rural communities that benefit from incentives for economic investment and revitalization projects, and for small business owners who are looking to improve and expand their companies. Last week, I led 87 of my colleagues in sending a letter to the president urging him to back off his plan to cap like-kind exchanges. Doing so would slap another unnecessary burden on rural Iowans.

President Biden and his administration are failing to recognize the negative effects their hidden tax hikes will have on the men and women who feed and fuel the world. Moving forward, they should work towards solutions that help family farmers transition operations and bolster investments in our rural communities — not create huge tax liabilities for our family farms and main street businesses.

Iowa producers, who are the breadbasket to the world, should not be the ones footing the bill for the Democrats’ reckless spending agenda.

Read my latest column by clicking here.

Biden’s Hidden Tax Hikes Will Disproportionately Harm Rural America

Tucked away in President Biden and the Democrats’ multi-trillion-dollar tax-and-spend proposal are tax hikes that will have an adverse impact on our agriculture community. For the past few months, I have been drawing attention to these tax hikes — including proposals to cap stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges. As a former chair of the Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee, I have seen the incredible economic potential that comes with cutting taxes. Unfortunately, Biden’s changes to stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges would take us in the opposite direction. His plan would raise taxes on Iowa farmers and main street business owners, harming our rural economy at a time when we need to remain focused on recovery and revitalization.

Changing or repealing stepped-up basis is the equivalent of taking the death tax and slapping on a new coat of paint. If stepped-up basis provisions are changed or altogether eliminated, individuals would have to pay hefty capital gains taxes if, for example, a farmer passes away and wants to hand over their operation to a family member. This is one of the top concerns I hear about from folks as I travel the 4th District. At a recent Farm Bureau town hall I attended in Palo Alto County, I met a 6th generation farmer who is concerned he will not be able to take over the family farm due to Biden’s plan to change stepped-up basis.

In June, I challenged Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young on the administration’s proposal to tax farm heirs. Less than two weeks later, a report published by Texas A&M’s Agriculture and Food Policy Center stated that eliminating stepped-up basis would impact up to 98% of farm transitions. Additionally, an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association found tax payments from eliminating stepped-up basis would be significantly higher than cash rents; in fact, they found that tax obligations as a percent of cash rent could reach 476% in Iowa.

To make matters worse, Biden has also proposed limiting 1031 like-kind exchanges. Similar to stepped-up basis, like-kind exchanges are important for farmers looking to retire and pass their property on to the next generation, for rural communities that benefit from incentives for economic investment and revitalization projects, and for small business owners who are looking to improve and expand their companies. Last week, I led 87 of my colleagues in sending a letter to the president urging him to back off his plan to cap like-kind exchanges. Doing so would slap another unnecessary burden on rural Iowans.

President Biden and his administration are failing to recognize the negative effects their hidden tax hikes will have on the men and women who feed and fuel the world. Moving forward, they should work towards solutions that help family farmers transition operations and bolster investments in our rural communities — not create huge tax liabilities for our family farms and main street businesses.

Iowa producers, who are the breadbasket to the world, should not be the ones footing the bill for the Democrats’ reckless spending agenda.

MARKING ONE YEAR SINCE THE DERECHO

On August 10, 2020, the most costly thunderstorm disaster in U.S. history tore across Iowa. Now $147 million in losses still remain unaccounted for in our state. That is why I’ve been fighting to ensure producers have access to the relief they need as they continue battling to bounce back.

 You may recall that a couple of weeks ago, language I introduced to include derecho damage in the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act passed the House Agriculture Committee. This was a huge step in the right direction, and I am thankful my colleagues supported this effort. Moving forward, I will continue working to ensure this critical legislation passes the House and is signed into law.

DOJ FAILS TO HOLD HOSPITAL ACCOUNTABLE AFTER THEY FORCED NURSES TO PERFORM ABORTIONS

Pro-life doctors and nurses shouldn’t be subjected to performing abortions. In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, my pro-life colleagues and I criticized these agencies for dismissing a lawsuit against a federally funded hospital that forced nurses to assist in abortions despite their legally protected objections.

“Your handling of this case is a profound miscarriage of justice and a rejection of your commitment to enforce federal conscience laws for Americans of all religious beliefs and creeds—and especially for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who object to abortion,” the letter states in part.

You can read the full letter by clicking here.

39 COUNTY TOUR UPDATE

This week I had the pleasure of visiting Palo Alto, Kossuth, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Webster, Sac, and Calhoun counties. My stops included a town hall with Farm Bureau, breakfast with Greater Fort Dodge Alliance, meeting with local leaders in Lake City, and the Main Street tour in Lake View.

 

Friday, July 30, 2021

SECURING DERECHO LOSS COVERAGE IN WHIP+ REAUTHORIZATION BILL

On Tuesday, the House Agriculture Committee held a markup on H.R. 267, the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act. After months of advocating for Iowa producers in need of additional assistance due to derecho-related losses, I am thrilled to announce that derecho damage is included in the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) reauthorization bill.

This comes after a Farm Bureau report estimated $147.5 million in losses from the derecho remain unaccounted for in Iowa. The damage caused by the derecho made it the most costly thunderstorm disaster in U.S. history.

Like I promised, I have not stopped fighting to secure much-needed assistance for Iowa ag producers who suffered losses from last year’s catastrophic derecho storm, which produced wind gusts comparable to a major tornado or hurricane. As the breadbasket to the world, I will continue fighting tirelessly to deliver for the hardworking men and women in our agriculture community.

I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure this critical legislation passes the House and is signed into law. Read more by clicking here or below:

House Ag Committee approves Feenstra derecho relief bill

The House Agriculture Committee Tuesday morning unanimously passed a bill that makes derecho damage eligible for coverage under the WHIP+ Reauthorization Act. Introduced by Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra, the legislation would provide assistance …

Read more
www.iowaagribusinessradione

 

CRITICIZING ONGOING ANTICOMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR IN THE CATTLE MARKET

During Wednesday’s Livestock Subcommittee hearing on the beef supply chain, I criticized the disproportionate market share meatpackers hold in the beef industry. I’ve heard from cattle producers in the 4th District who are losing $150+ a head — yet meatpackers are making a large profit.

Large packers control the price through contracts, manage the amount being slaughtered through line speeds, and decide when livestock is needed for their own profitable benefits. The system is set up where the packers will never see a loss — creating massive guaranteed profits while rural farmers lose their livelihoods.

When more than 60% of cattle are sold on formula contracts, and we don’t know the details of how these are broken down, it seems obvious that this asymmetric information is breaking down the market. We need to work on transparency, competition, and processing capacity to improve fairness in the cattle market.

Watch my committee remarks by clicking here or below:

 

DEMOCRATS REJECT EFFORT TO PERMANENTLY OUTLAW TAXPAYER-FUNDED ABORTIONS

This week, I spoke on the House floor and asked for immediate consideration of H.R. 18, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act. Democratic leadership shot down the effort, which would make the Hyde Amendment — a policy that ensures tax dollars cannot be spent on abortions — permanent.

This comes as Democrats included an effort to kill the Hyde Amendment in their Health and Human Services (HHS) funding bill. Hyde has enjoyed strong bipartisan support for the past 45 years and has saved an estimated 2.5 million babies since it was enacted.

Americans should not be forced to fork over tax dollars so defenseless babies can be murdered on their dime. Watch my full remarks by clicking here or below:

 

LEADING PROPOSAL TO SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT, CRIME VICTIMS

In a Science, Space, and Technology (SST) Committee meeting, I cosponsored a proposal that will improve scientific standards and technologies that will advance forensic analysis.

I stand with our law enforcement officers — including detectives and investigators — who work tirelessly in their pursuit of truth and justice. I want to ensure they have the best tools and techniques available to help with the critical work they do to put criminals behind bars and keep our communities safe. That is why I am pleased this legislation passed out of committee.

Watch my remarks from the committee meeting by clicking here.

 

A COUNTRY IN CRISIS

I joined my House Republican colleagues on Thursday to raise attention to President Biden and Speaker Pelosi’s failed policies that have put our country in crisis — from skyrocketing inflation to the humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border. Moving forward, my GOP colleagues and I are focused on getting Americans back to work, back to school, back to health, and back to normal.

 

ONE MORE THING:

Congratulations to all the 4th District high school baseball teams who participated in the state tournament this week! The teams include: Remsen St. Mary’s, Grundy Center, Tri-Center, Unity Christian, New Hampton, and MOC-Floyd Valley.

Friday, July 16, 2021
Randy’s Roundup: Supporting Legislation to Bolster Broadband Access

Dear Friend,

This week, the House Agriculture Committee held a markup on the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act. Continue reading below for more information on this legislation, and remember to like my Facebook page by clicking here to stay up-to-date throughout the week!

LEGISLATION TO BOLSTER BROADBAND ACCESS PASSES AG COMMITTEE

On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee passed the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act — bipartisan legislation that will help close the digital divide between rural and urban areas. A better-connected America will help spur economic growth in our rural communities. Whether it’s telehealth, precision ag technology, or remote working, it’s clear quality internet access is not a luxury — it’s a necessity.

H.R. 4374 is a historic $43 billion investment in broadband connectivity. I was honored to support this legislation in committee, and I look forward to seeing it pass the House. Read more by clicking here.

CUBA PROTESTS DEMONSTRATE PERILS OF COMMUNISM

You probably saw on the news this week that the people of Cuba are taking to the streets to protest authoritarian oppression — an important reminder that history is plagued with failed communist regimes. It is telling that in President Biden’s initial statement on the protests, the words “communism” and “socialism” were missing entirely.

I stand strong, as the United States should, with the people of Cuba as they march for liberty and freedom from the scourge of communism.

USDA to Provide Pandemic Assistance to Livestock…

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2021 – Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals. The U.S.

https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/07/13/usda-provide-pandemic-assistance-livestock-producers-animal-losses

FIGHTING TO MAKE E15 YEAR-ROUND PERMANENT

This week, I joined my colleagues on the House Biofuels Caucus in introducing a bipartisan bill to make E15 available year-round. The Year-Round Fuel Choice Act of 2021 seeks to ensure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can grant waivers allowing for the sale of higher ethanol blends year-round. The legislation comes after a D.C. circuit court ruling would eliminate retailers’ ability to sell E15 in the summer months.

E15 year-round gives consumers a more affordable option at the gas station, helps crop growers and biofuel producers by increasing demand, and benefits our environment as the cleanest form of liquid fuel on the market. As the largest ethanol and biodiesel producing district in the country, I will continue fighting for policies that prevent oil refineries from stomping on our family farms and biofuel producers in Iowa.

Read more by clicking here.

ONE MORE THING:

Congratulations to the Catt Museum in Charles City on being selected as a dedicated site on the National Votes for Women Trail! This museum honors the life and work of Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement.

Growing up in Charles City, Catt eventually traveled the country — and around the world — working tirelessly to secure voting rights for all women. Learn more on their website by clicking here.

Friday, July 9, 2021
Randy’s Roundup: Introducing Legislation to Support Crop Growers & Biofuel Producers

Dear Friend,

With the House out of session this week, I was busy traveling and meeting with folks throughout the district. I also introduced a bipartisan bill to clarify oil refinery exemptions after a recent Supreme Court ruling. Continue reading for more information, and remember to like my Facebook page by clicking here to stay up-to-date on my meetings and legislative initiatives!

MY BILL TO SUPPORT CROP GROWERS AND BIOFUEL PRODUCERS

Last week, I introduced a bipartisan bill in response to a recent Supreme Court decision that favored oil refineries over biofuels producers. Their decision would continue to allow refineries to petition for “extensions” of small refinery exemptions (SREs), even if they have not received exemptions consecutively since 2011. This does not comply with the original congressional intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Our bill clarifies small refineries can only apply for an exemption if they have received exemptions continuously since 2011 — clarifying once and for all that exemptions were meant to be temporary.

The biofuels industry is an important driver of economic growth in Iowa, supporting thousands of jobs and expanding market options for our corn and soybean growers. That is why we must erase ambiguities and ensure oil refineries are not able to take shortcuts when it comes to blending biofuels.

Read more by clicking on the Reuters article below:

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/us-lawmakers-introduce-bill-restrict-biofuel-waivers-refiners-2021-07-02/

 

SERGEANT KETCHUM RURAL VETERANS MENTAL HEALTH ACT SIGNED INTO LAW

My Iowa colleagues and I introduced and advocated for the Sergeant Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental Health Act, which was recently signed into law by President Biden. This bill is named in honor of Sgt. Brandon Ketchum, an Iowan and Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tragically, Sgt. Ketchum took his own life after failing to receive the mental health care he needed from the VA. Our veterans deserve the best care and attention — including when it comes to treating unseen wounds. Our bill will help provide veterans in rural areas with more reliable mental health services.

39 COUNTY TOUR UPDATE

This week I continued part two of my 39 County Tour, visiting Dutchland Frozen Foods in Lyon County, Great Lakes Communication Corp. and Veridian Fire Protective Gear in Clay County, and a Reilly Construction site in Ida County.

We had great discussions on everything from broadband connectivity and the supply chain to workforce shortages and housing issues. Learn more about my other stops by clicking here.

SURVEYING HAIL DAMAGE IN PLYMOUTH COUNTY

When I was traveling the district this week, I stopped just north of Kingsley to look at some of the damage from a recent hail storm. The field below required a bean replant. I will continue praying for good weather for our farmers as we head into the warmest part of the season — and I stand ready to assist our farmers in any way I can.

To learn more about resources provided by the USDA, click here.

 

We are government together, and I am here to serve you. Your thoughts, concerns, and comments are very important to me. Always feel free to call (202) 225-4426 or visit my website at feenstra.house.gov.
Sincerely,

Rep. Randy Feenstra

Member of Congress


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Randy’s Roundup:  Proposals on intellectual property, ag technology pass House

Dear Friend,

I am excited that the House passed two of my proposals this week — one protects American intellectual property from the Chinese Communist Party, and the other seeks to advance agricultural technology. I also spoke on the floor to urge President Biden to back off his attacks on rural America.

TWO OF MY PROPOSALS PASS THE HOUSE WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT

On Monday, the House passed the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act, which included two proposals that I helped lead.

One prevents government-funded researchers from participating in projects that are run by so-called “foreign countries of concern” including China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran or as defined by the State Department. Taxpayer dollars should not be spent on research that could end up in the hands of our competitors or adversaries. This is especially true when it comes to China — one report estimated Chinese intellectual property theft costs U.S. taxpayers up to $600 billion a year. My bipartisan proposal stands up to the Chinese Communist Party and ensures your tax dollars are spent wisely.

This bill also includes bipartisan language I worked on to advance precision agriculture technology. These provisions aim to bolster research and development for precision farming practices which will help our producers improve efficiency and increase their bottom line.

BIDEN’S AGENDA FOR RURAL AMERICA: HIGHER TAXES, MORE REGULATION

The Biden administration’s big-government agenda for rural America includes higher taxes, more regulation, and policies that harm our most important industries. The administration has proposed changes to the stepped-up basis tax policy, which is effectively the death tax with a new coat of paint; announced they will move back towards Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations, undoing the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule; and now, President Biden is looking at undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and weakening biofuels blending requirements.

Click below to watch my full floor speech, or click here to read my remarks.

URGING BIDEN TO ADDRESS VULNERABILITIES IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN

JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier which processes nearly 25% of all US beef, was hit by a ransomware attack in June. The JBS cyberattack exposed startling security vulnerabilities in our food supply chain. I joined my colleagues in signing a letter to President Biden, urging him to take necessary actions to protect our supply chain from these national security threats.

Recent cyberattacks have targeted many key components of American infrastructure — from the Colonial Pipeline, to the New York subway, and now JBS. These attacks on our national security must be taken more seriously by the Biden administration.

Click here to read our letter.

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE USMCA

July 1st marked one year since the implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The USMCA has bolstered Iowa’s relationship with our top two trading partners and has especially helped our farmers and manufacturers. I will continue watching the implementation of this trade agreement closely to ensure both countries are holding up their ends of the deal.

APPOINTED TO SERVE ON ENERGY, CLIMATE, AND CONSERVATION TASK FORCE TO FIGHT THE GREEN NEW DEAL

I was honored to be selected by Leader McCarthy to serve on the Energy, Climate, and Conservation task force. This GOP task force will serve as an important counter to the Democrats’ approach to energy and the environment, which is focused on one-size-fits-all Green New Deal provisions that will tax and regulate family farms straight out of business. As a member of this task force, I will continue fighting for Iowa biofuel producers, crop growers, and livestock farmers.

This is an opportunity to work with my colleagues to find pro-innovation solutions that empower our farmers and producers. As the number one state in ethanol and biodiesel production, Iowa is already at the forefront of clean energy solutions. I look forward to bringing Iowa’s perspective to the table.

We are government together, and I am here to serve you. Your thoughts, concerns, and comments are very important to me. Always feel free to call (202) 225-4426 or visit my website at feenstra.house.gov.
Sincerely,

 

Rep. Randy Feenstra

Member of Congress


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Randy’s Roundup: Pressing HUD Secretary on Rural Investments

Dear Friend,

This week I questioned both the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) administrator on their fiscal year 2022 budget proposals. Continue reading below for an update on my busy week in Washington!

PRESSING HUD SECRETARY ON RURAL INVESTMENTS

During a House Budget Committee hearing on HUD’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, I questioned Secretary Marcia Fudge on prioritizing investments in rural America. After the Biden administration’s so-called infrastructure bill called for 74% more to be spent on subsidies for electric vehicles than on broadband, I pressed Secretary Fudge on whether HUD’s broadband initiatives will focus on rural America. She committed to funding broadband in rural areas along with equal funding for Community Development Block Grants. I look forward to ensuring the Biden administration upholds these promises.

Additionally, HUD’s proposal calls for $295 million in additional funding for Community Development Block Grants, which would be spent at the discretion of the Secretary. Feenstra asked Secretary Fudge if the increase would be utilized in rural areas.

Fudge committed to funding for broadband in rural areas along with equal funding for Community Development Block Grants.

See the video link below.

https://youtu.be/2vYEsLdyeWs

SENATE HOLDS HEARING ON TRANSPARENCY AND PRICING IN THE CATTLE MARKET

On Wednesday, the Senate held a hearing to examine transparency and prices in the cattle market. I appreciate all the work Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Joni Ernst are doing to bring attention to this issue. We are in a situation where only four meatpackers control 80% of the market share, and I continuously hear from many cattle producers in the 4th District who are struggling to break even — even as boxed beef prices have increased.

Simply put: While beef prices have risen at the grocery store to the benefit of meatpackers, both consumers and producers are getting the raw end of the deal.

While there are different proposals that have been presented to fix this issue, gathering more information and hearing from stakeholders will help bring us closer to agreeing on a solution. That’s why I’m once again calling on the House Agriculture Committee to hold a hearing on this matter as soon as possible.

To learn more about the problems Iowa cattle producers are facing, check out this story from KCAU:

Are cattle prices fair to farmers? Rep. Feenstra demands answers

RURAL VETERANS MENTAL HEALTH BILL HEADS TO PRESIDENT’S DESK

Our veterans deserve the best care and attention, including when it comes to treating unseen wounds. That is why I am pleased both the House and Senate have passed the Sgt. Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental Health Act of 2021, which will help provide reliable mental health services for veterans in rural areas.

After an Iowan, Sgt. Brandon Ketchum, took his own life after being denied care by the VA, it was clear shortcomings in mental health care for our veterans needed to be addressed. I am honored to be a part of this effort as an original cosponsor alongside my Iowa colleagues Reps. Axne, Hinson, and Miller-Meeks. May God bless all those who have fought to protect our freedoms.

Read more on my website by clicking here.

We are government together, and I am here to serve you. Your thoughts, concerns, and comments are very important to me. Always feel free to call (202) 225-4426 or visit my website at feenstra.house.gov.
Sincerely,

Rep. Randy Feenstra

Member of Congress

Friday, June 18, 2021
Randy’s Roundup: Continuing my work to secure derecho relief

Dear Friend,

It was a busy week of votes and committee meetings in Washington — I introduced a new bill to secure disaster relief for Iowans impacted by last year’s derecho, led two amendments that were successfully adopted by the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and I renewed my push for Sarah’s Law as the crisis at our southern border continues to worsen. Continue reading below for more information, and remember to like my Facebook page by clicking here to stay up-to-date!

CONTINUING MY WORK TO SECURE DERECHO RELIEF

You may recall that in February, I successfully passed a derecho relief amendment to the American Rescue Plan out of the House Agriculture Committee. However, due to the highly partisan and polarizing nature of this reconciliation bill, Democrats ended up striking my proposal before making it to the House floor.

That’s why I introduced H.R. 3821 this week, which would include losses due to high winds — such as derechos — in a disaster relief program carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) would be used to provide financial assistance to ag producers who suffered losses from certain natural disasters in 2020.

My common-sense proposal would help all those who suffered catastrophic damage from last summer’s derecho and are still working to claw their way back. Moving forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and am optimistic that we can get this legislation passed.

Read more in the Fort Dodge Messenger: https://www.messengernews.net/news/local-news/2021/06/rep-feenstra-seeks-derecho-aid-for-iowa-farmers/

MY PROPOSALS ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND PRECISION AG TECHNOLOGY PASS SST COMMITTEE

I am pleased my colleagues on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee supported my proposals to prevent intellectual property theft and expand the scope of precision agriculture technology. The National Science Foundation for the Future Act now includes two important improvements that will protect American interests and help empower producers to utilize advanced technology.

One of my amendments aims to prevent intellectual property theft by preventing government-funded researchers from participating in projects or programs that are run by any “foreign country of concern.” This legislation specifically defines “country of concern” as China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, and any other “country of concern” as defined by the State Department.

Click here.

RENEWING MY PUSH FOR SARAH’S LAW AS BORDER CRISIS WORSENS

On Tuesday, I spoke on the House floor to urge my colleagues to support Sarah’s Law. Named in honor of Sarah Root, this proposal would require authorities to keep illegal immigrants in custody if they’ve been charged with a crime that resulted in death or serious bodily injury.

This renewed push comes as the crisis at our southern border continues to worsen due to inaction from the Biden administration. Border encounters have reached a two-decade high, with 180,000 encounters last month compared to just 23,000 in May of 2020. Reports indicate around 1,500 migrants are coming into the country and evading border patrol daily.

Click here to watch my full speech.

INFLATION FORCES FEDERAL RESERVE TO READJUST TIMELINE FOR INTEREST RATE HIKES

The Federal Reserve voted to keep interest rates steady this week, but they acknowledged high inflation would likely result in two rate hikes by the end of 2023. As I’ve warned previously, massive spending causes inflation, inflation leads to interest rate hikes, and interest rate hikes will cause payments on our nearly $30 trillion national debt to skyrocket — which could all lead to a dangerous debt spiral.

With massive spending, a pair of disappointing jobs reports, and inflation ticking up at the fastest pace since the Great Recession in 2008, it’s clear Pres. Biden’s failed policies are hurting Americans & moving our economy in the wrong direction.

MY OFFICE WILL HOLD TRAVELING OFFICE HOURS

Members of my team will be holding the first round of traveling office hours from Wednesday, June 23 through Friday, June 25. Whether it helps with the IRS, VA, or a different federal agency, my office stands ready to assist 4th District Iowans. Please do not hesitate to stop by or contact my office if we can be of service. You can always submit a casework request on my website.

Click hereto see a full list of locations and times.

 

Friday, June 11, 2021
Former VP Pence to Headline Feenstra Family Picnic

Former Vice President Mike Pence will be headlining Congressman Randy Feenstra’s inaugural Feenstra Family Picnic in July. The event will be on July 16th from 11 AM-1 PM at The Dean Family Classic Car Museum in Sioux Center.

 “Vice President Pence has been a champion for conservative values and protecting innocent life throughout his public service,” Feenstra said. “I’m honored to have him join us for this event as we prepare to win the majority in 2022, fire Speaker Pelosi and deliver conservative results for Iowa.” 

 “Congressman Feenstra has a proven record of fighting to secure our borders, protect our God-given liberties enshrined in the Constitution, champion Iowa’s farmers, and cut taxes for Iowa’s working families,” said Pence. “I am honored to help Randy kick-off the inaugural Feenstra Family Picnic in July.”

 Tickets and event details are available at FeenstraFamilyPicnic.com.

 

Friday, June 11, 2021
Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

This week, I officially wrapped up the first part of my 39 County Tour — visiting all 39 counties in the 4th District at least once so far. I remain committed to visiting all 39 counties at least twice a year to help me be an effective voice for you in Washington, D.C. I have learned a lot about the issues that matter most to Iowans in every corner of the district — from Missouri Valley to New Hampton and everywhere in between.

WHAT I HEARD FROM IOWANS DURING PART ONE OF MY COUNTY TOUR

As I travel the district, I hear from many cattle producers who are struggling due to a lack of fairness and transparency in the cattle market. The nation’s four largest meatpackers control 85% of the fed cattle processing market, and beef prices continue rising while live cattle prices have remained stagnant. It is clear anti-competitive behavior should be investigated so our independent cattle producers can succeed.

In May, I joined my colleagues in sending a bicameral letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, urging the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to examine anticompetitive behavior by the four largest meatpackers. Additionally, I called on the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee to hold a hearing on this issue immediately. After we are able to start getting more answers, it will bring us one step closer to finding a commonsense solution.

I have also heard from numerous small business owners who are facing a shortage of workers. Main street businesses and manufacturing companies across the district are finding it difficult to keep up with demand due to a lack of labor, which disrupts our supply chain and stymies economic growth. For that reason, I was pleased to see Governor Reynolds lead the way by ending Iowa’s participation in enhanced federal unemployment insurance. Iowa is open for business, and it is time to get folks back to work and keep our economy growing. That cannot be accomplished if workers are incentivized to stay home.

At the federal level, I have led a number of efforts to expand skills training and STEM education programs to ensure students have the capabilities they need to meet the demands of today’s economy. In February, I successfully led an effort to provide students in mentorship programs with more employment opportunities by incorporating these programs into the national apprenticeship system; and in May, a bill I cosponsored — the Rural STEM Education Research Act — passed the House with bipartisan support. This legislation seeks to assist nonprofits and schools in expanding STEM programs in rural areas.

Many Iowans are also concerned with the rising cost of goods and services. Since President Biden was sworn into office, monthly inflation has quadrupled — rising much higher than expected in both March and April. This is a direct result of this administration’s fiscal policies, pumping money we do not have into the economy. Doing so devalues the dollar, causing the price of goods and services to increase. American workers and families will be stuck paying for Biden’s out-of-control spending — whether by paying more in taxes or paying more at the gas pump and grocery store. As a member of the House Budget Committee, I will continue fighting for a balanced budget, lower taxes, and any policy that will help our rural communities grow and thrive. Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s reckless tax-and-spend policies are moving our economy in the wrong direction.

Read more by clicking here

CHALLENGING ACTING OMB DIRECTOR ON PROPOSAL TO TAX FARMERS

During a House Budget Committee hearing on President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal, I questioned Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young about the Biden administration’s proposal to raise taxes on Iowa farmers and main street business owners.

The Treasury Department’s budget proposal includes a stepped-up basis tax change that is effectively the death tax with a new coat of paint. I have heard from farmers across the 4th District who are concerned this change would be financially devastating — especially when it comes to passing family farms from one generation to the next.

If the administration goes down this path, it will be a direct attack on rural America. Hardworking farmers should not have to foot the bill for Democrats’ reckless spending policies.

INTRODUCING LEGISLATION TO BOOST PRECISION AG TECHNOLOGY

This week, I joined Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-09) in introducing H.R. 3784, the Advancing Internet of Things (IoT) for Precision Agriculture Act of 2021. This bill would bolster research and development in precision agriculture, which will help our ag producers improve efficiency and save money by taking a more targeted approach to farming practices. Additionally, investment in precision ag technology reflects an investment in our environment — helping producers care for our soil and water even more effectively.

I am honored to be a part of this effort to further empower the men and women in America’s heartland who feed and fuel the world. Read more on my website by clicking here.

 

SERVICE ACADEMY APPLICATION PROCESS NOW OPEN

My office is now accepting applications from Iowans seeking congressional nomination to a U.S. service academy. This is an outstanding opportunity for Iowans hoping to serve our country and wanting to receive a quality education. I strongly encourage interested Iowans to apply for a nomination through my office.

Service Academy Applicants must be:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Legal Residents of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District
  • At least 17 years of age, but not yet 23 years of age by July 1 of the year of admission (or not yet 25 years of age by July 1 of the year of admission to U.S. Merchant Marine Academy)
  • Unmarried with no dependents
  • By law, graduates of the service academies are appointed to active duty as commissioned officers and serve in the appropriate branch of the military for a minimum of five years.

The deadline to apply is Friday, October 1, 2021, at 5 p.m. CT. For more information, click here.

Sincerely,

Saturday, June 5, 2021
Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

I continued my 39 County Tour this week, visiting 10 more counties – from a manufacturing facility in Holstein to a Q&A in Sheldon. I always learn a lot from constituents during these visits, and that is why I enjoy traveling the district, listening to Iowans, and taking your ideas and concerns to Washington. Continue reading below for highlights from the week, and please do not forget to like my Facebook page by clicking here to stay up to date!

BIDEN UNVEILS BLOATED $6 TRILLION BUDGET

Last Friday, President Biden released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022. With an eye-popping price tag of $6 trillion, there are several components of this proposal that concern me:

It will explode the national debt, which is already at $30 trillion

  • With a grand total of $69 trillion in spending over the next ten years, this proposal would add $17 trillion in new debt by 2031. This year’s deficit alone is already $3.7 trillion, which is the highest it has been in the entire history of the United States. And that is not even considering the skyrocketing interest payments we will have to make on our national debt – rising to $914 billion by 2031. That is more than the amount the federal government will spend on Medicare this year.

It completely ignores the inflationary risks that come with massive, unprecedented amounts of spending

  • Since Biden was sworn into office, monthly inflation has quadrupled – rising much higher than expected in both March and April. This is a direct result of this administration’s fiscal policies, pumping money we do not have into the economy. Doing so devalues the dollar, making the price of goods and services increase. American workers and families will be stuck paying for Biden’s out-of-control spending – whether it is paying more in taxes or paying more at the gas pump and grocery store.

It prioritizes electric vehicles over ethanol and biodiesel, and it would allow taxpayer money to be spent on abortions

  • I am also disappointed the Biden administration’s proposal includes $25 million for electric vehicle subsidies and infrastructure while once again largely ignoring ethanol and biodiesel as a clean form of fuel. As I have in the past, I will continue pressing United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Secretary Regan, and Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Granholm on ensuring the administration recognizes the important role biofuels in providing a cleaner and more affordable option at the pump.
  • This budget would also allow taxpayer money – YOUR money – to be spent on abortions, which is unacceptable. Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for abortion services. I will continue standing up against any effort to reverse the ban on taxpayer-funded abortions.

These are just a few of my biggest concerns. To secure a brighter future for our children and grandchildren, I will continue fighting for a balanced budget, lower taxes, and any policies that will allow our rural communities grow and thrive. Unfortunately, it is clear to me that Biden’s bloated budget proposal would take us in the wrong direction.

 

DEMANDING SPEAKER PELOSI ALLOW INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE ORIGINS OF COVID-19

I joined Congressman Steve Scalise and over 200 of my colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi, demanding an investigation into the origins of COVID-19. It’s clear the Chinese Communist Party can’t be trusted, and we must get to the bottom of how this virus turned into a global pandemic — crippling economies and killing over three million people worldwide.

Click here to read the full letter.

 

PRESSING DOE SECRETARY GRANHOLM ON THE ADMIN’S SUPPORT FOR RENEWABLE FUELS

During a Science, Space, and Technology (SST) Committee hearing, I pressed Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm on the Biden administration’s failure to include biofuels in the American Jobs Plan.

Secretary Granholm’s own DOE recently published a study with the headline, “Corn ethanol reduces carbon footprint, greenhouse gases.” This study shows that from 2005 to 2019, corn ethanol resulted in more than 500 million tons of greenhouse gas reductions and the carbon intensity of ethanol decreased by 23%. And this past February, DOE’s Energy Information Agency published their 2021 Annual Energy Outlook which estimated that liquid fuel vehicle sales will still account for 79% of new vehicle sales by 2050.

I was pleased that Secretary Granholm agrees biofuels are important in the long-term as Americans will continue demanding liquid fuel vehicles far more than electric vehicles.

Yet even though the Department of Energy’s findings paint a very clear picture that biofuels present a long-term solution to reducing transportation emissions, President Biden’s policies have not reflected this. Instead, Biden has called for $174 billion in spending on electric vehicles in the American Jobs Plan while hardly mentioning biofuels. Energy Secretary Granholm herself admitted electric vehicles are expected to account for less than 20% of new vehicle sales by 2050. It is clear a serious disconnect exists between DOE’s findings and Biden’s policies. The president should immediately recognize that biofuels have an important long-term role to play.

 

Sincerely,

Friday, May 28, 2021
Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

Last weekend, I joined my colleague Rep. Tony Gonzales from Texas to visit the southern border and see the border crisis firsthand. I have more on that below, plus I discuss a letter I led to President Biden this week. Remember to like my Facebook page by clicking here to follow along throughout the week!

HERE’S WHAT I SAW AT THE SOUTHERN BORDER

As the humanitarian and national security crisis the Biden-Harris administration created has shown no signs of improvement, I went to visit the border myself so I could see what our country is facing firsthand. I received an aerial tour of Big Bend, a remote sector of the border where we were told apprehensions have reached unprecedented levels. We went from a near two decade low to a two decade high, with over 178,000 border apprehensions in the month of April alone.

Here are pictures from the helicopter, showing just how remote this part of the border is:

We also visited the Presidio, Texas port of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, where we met with border patrol agents and other law enforcement officers who are on the front lines ensuring drugs, weapons, and other contraband does not make it across the border. While the southern tip of Texas is a popular entry point for migrants seeking asylum, this sector is where migrants — oftentimes with criminal records — try to smuggle fentanyl, cocaine, and other drugs into the U.S.

I appreciate the work our law enforcement officers are doing to protect our border.

Since President Biden took office, over 61,000 migrants who illegally entered the country have been released into the U.S. More fentanyl has been seized by border patrol agents so far in 2021 than in all of 2020, and more was seized last month than all of the last three Aprils combined. This is highly concerning since reports indicate around 1,500 migrants are coming into the country and evading border patrol daily.

That’s why it is completely inexcusable that Vice President Harris, the administration’s “border czar,” has yet to see the border crisis for herself. After having the opportunity to see what is taking place firsthand, it is clear the Biden-Harris administration must take this crisis more seriously. With illegal border crossings at a 20 year high and fentanyl seizures up, the Biden administration needs to do more to secure our border. I am thankful for all law enforcement personnel who are working around the clock to prevent contraband from entering our country and helping keep our communities safe.

Click here.

URGING PRESIDENT BIDEN TO UPHOLD PROMISE TO SUPPORT BIOFUELS

On Tuesday, I led members of the Iowa delegation — including Sens. Joni Ernst & Chuck Grassley and Reps. Ashley Hinson & Mariannette Miller-Meeks — in writing a letter to President Biden, urging him to uphold his promise to support biofuels.

Biden previously pledged to “promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America.” However, the administration’s proposed infrastructure bill would spend $174 billion to subsidize electric vehicles while hardly mentioning the biofuel industry. We pointed out that Biden has thus far fallen short on his promise.

Biofuels should not be treated as a transition fuel, but prioritized as a fuel of the future. Read the letter by clicking here or on one of the images below:

ONE MORE THING:

On Memorial Day, we pause to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. We pause to remember that freedom is not free. Our right to worship freely, speak freely, petition our government, peacefully assemble — these fundamental, constitutional rights are enjoyed by all Americans thanks to the folks who answer the call to serve our country.

I’ll end with my favorite verse from The Battle Hymn of the Republic: “As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free.”

 

Sincerely,

Friday, May 21, 2021

Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

I had another busy week in Washington, with this being our last week in session until June. I am pleased that two bills I cosponsored passed the House this week — one to expand access to mental health services for veterans in rural areas, and another that will help grow rural STEM education programs. Continue reading below for more information, and remember to like my Facebook page by clicking here to follow along throughout the week!

ANTICOMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR IN THE CATTLE MARKET IS HURTING OUR CATTLE PRODUCERS

As I travel the 4th District and talk with farmers, I have heard from a lot of folks concerned about anticompetitive behavior by meatpackers in the cattle market. While live cattle prices remain low, beef prices at the grocery store are on the rise — meaning meatpackers are profiting off the backs of consumers and family cattle producers.

This week, I took two major steps towards addressing this issue further. On Monday, I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, urging the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to examine anticompetitive behavior by the nation’s four largest meatpackers who control 80 percent of the market share. The letter specifically calls on the DOJ’s Antitrust Division to continue looking into potential violations and to update Congress on their findings.

Additionally, I called on the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee to hold a hearing on this issue. The central question here is simple: Is there enough cash negotiation occurring in the cattle marketplace to ensure true price discovery and to allow cattle producers sufficient leverage in cash negotiations? Holding a hearing would help us find answers, which will bring us one step closer to finding a solution.

I continue to hear from cattle producers that are struggling to break even, which is why I am demanding answers. Click here .

Are cattle prices fair to farmers? Rep. Feenstra demands …

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (KCAU) – If you’ve been grocery shopping lately, you’ve probably noticed beef prices are on the rise, but cattle producers say they’re not making any more money on their livestock. Cattle prices have remained mostly unchanged…

Read more
www.siouxlandproud.com

BILL TO EXPAND STEM EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND BROADBAND ACCESS IN RURAL AREAS PASSES HOUSE

I am pleased the Rural STEM Education Research Act, which I cosponsored as a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee passed the House with bipartisan support. STEM education and quality broadband are critical to the future success and revitalization of rural America. This bill will help expand both.

It seeks to award grants to nonprofit organizations or higher education institutions for research and development to advance STEM teaching in our rural schools. The bill also establishes a broadband research and development working group to explore challenges and opportunities for expanding broadband access and implementation.

Watch my floor speech here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9Wq8wCv68E

BILL TO EXPAND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR VETERANS IN RURAL AREAS PASSES HOUSE

Another bill that I cosponsored, the Sergeant Ketchum Veterans’ Mental Health Act, also passed the House with bipartisan support. This bill is named in honor of Sergeant Brandon Ketchum, an Iowan and Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tragically, Sgt. Ketchum took his own life after failing to receive the mental health care he needed from the VA.

Our veterans deserve the best care and attention, including when it comes to treating unseen wounds. That is why I am honored to be a part of this effort to expand mental health services to veterans in rural areas.

Watch my floor speech here:

Sincerely,

Friday, May 7, 2021

Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

I had another busy week in the 4th District as we get ready to head back into session for the next two weeks. I have enjoyed hearing from Iowans of all different backgrounds. As a reminder, you can keep up with my current projects and meetings throughout the week by liking my Facebook page here. As always, thank you for your continued support, prayers, and feedback!

MY LATEST COLUMN: Here’s how EPA Administrator Regan can help bolster biofuels

I am pleased to see the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Regan, made an effort to see what Iowa has to offer by holding a roundtable with ag producers in the 4th District. I believe we can work together to empower producers, increase efficiency, and maintain clean water, soil, and air.

Supporting biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas, would be a great place to start. There are many steps Administrator Regan can take immediately to support the biofuels industry — beginning with ensuring biofuels are included in any infrastructure and climate discussions. Right now, the Biden administration’s $2 trillion proposal would spend $174 billion to subsidize electric vehicles while hardly even mentioning the biofuel industry.

This proposal ignores the fact that biofuels can provide immediate carbon reduction when it comes to our transportation sector. A recent study from Harvard University and Tufts University found that ethanol reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46%. It is estimated that biofuels use has already reduced emissions by nearly one billion metric tons, according to a separate study conducted by Life Cycle Associates. In other words, further emission reductions can be achieved by bolstering the production of biofuels, as opposed to moving in the opposite direction and incentivizing electric-powered vehicles.

The EPA can further show they are committed to supporting the biofuels industry by continuing to deny small refinery exemptions (SREs). Allowing SREs to go through could cause a significant decrease in demand for biofuels, and I applaud the actions the EPA has already taken on this front. Additionally, the EPA should continue promoting a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and work towards blending higher levels of biofuels moving forward.

Finally, I have co-sponsored a bill, the Adopt GREET Act, which would require the EPA to adopt new greenhouse gas modeling for biofuels. This modeling takes into account the latest practices being utilized by farmers to be good stewards of their land and to increase their efficiency.

I will continue making biofuels a top priority in Congress and ensure Iowa biofuels producers have a seat at the table. I look forward to working with Administrator Regan and Secretary Vilsack to promote biofuels production as an excellent source of clean energy.

Read my full column in the Ames Tribune by clicking here.

 

Feenstra: Here’s how EPA Administrator Regan can help…

I am pleased to see the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Regan, is making an effort to see what Iowa has to offer by holding a roundtable with ag producers in the 4th District. I believe we can work together to empower producers, increase efficiency, and maintain clean water, soil, and air.

Supporting biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas, would be a great place to start. There are many steps Administrator Regan can take immediately to support the biofuels industry — beginning with ensuring biofuels are included in any infrastructure and climate discussions. Right now, the Biden administration’s $2 trillion proposal would spend $174 billion to subsidize electric vehicles while hardly even mentioning the biofuel industry.

This proposal ignores the fact that biofuels can provide immediate carbon reduction when it comes to our transportation sector. A recent study from Harvard University and Tufts University found that ethanol reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46%. It is estimated that biofuels use has already reduced emissions by nearly one billion metric tons, according to a separate study conducted by Life Cycle Associates. In other words, further emission reductions can be achieved by bolstering the production of biofuels, as opposed to moving in the opposite direction and incentivizing electric-powered vehicles.

www.amestrib.com

LEADING A BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO REDUCE OPIOID DEATHS IN RURAL AMERICA

On Wednesday, I helped introduce the bipartisan Rural Area Opioid Prevention Pilot Program Act. The promising pilot programs included in this bill are a critical step forward as we work to curb the opioid epidemic, taking a targeted approach and ensuring rural Americans suffering from addiction have the resources they need to recover and get a second chance.

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened opioid abuse, and it is important that we work to tackle this issue immediately.

Click here to visit my website and learn more.

 

SPEAKING OUT AGAINST BIDEN’S TAX PLAN, WHICH WOULD HARM FAMILY FARMS AND FAMILY-RUN BUSINESSES

Part of President Biden’s latest multi-trillion-dollar tax-and-spend proposal includes eliminating stepped-up basis and taxing capital gains at death. Doing so would undermine the financial security of American families, small businesses, and farmers.

A recent study found that getting rid of stepped-up basis, coupled with the proposal to tax capital gains at death, have the potential to reduce wages by $32 for every $100 in new taxes collected, eliminate 80,000 jobs per year right now, and eliminate up to 100,000 jobs per year by 2030. A likely outcome for the repeal of step-up in basis would be the closure or sale of many family businesses and associated job loss.

Family farms and family-owned businesses should not have to pay the price for reckless spending. That’s why I joined 130+ of my colleagues in writing a letter opposing President Biden’s proposed tax changes.

Click here to read the full letter.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO SIERRA PETERSON, WINNER OF THIS YEAR’S CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION!

On Saturday, I was pleased to announce that Sierra Peterson from Orange City won the 2021 Congressional Art Competition for the 4th District! Her artwork (below) is appropriately entitled, “Our Heroes.”

I’d also like to congratulate our two runners-up, Cadence De Jong from Orange City and Abigail Zaiger from Exira! Thank you to everyone who submitted their art this year — the 4th District is home to a lot of very talented artists!

ONE MORE THING:

It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives, and sometimes we forget to appreciate the ones who love us most. That’s why Sunday is such a special day — a day to celebrate everything our mothers have done for us. I hope you and your families have a blessed Mother’s Day!

1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Friday, April 30, 2021

Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

This week I was back in the 4th District meeting with Iowans — including principals, community bankers, nurses, and manufacturers. I always appreciate being back in Iowa so I can listen to Iowans and take your concerns to Washington. If you haven’t already, the best way to keep up with my current projects and meetings is to follow along on Facebook by clicking here. Thank you for your continued support, prayers, and feedback!

BIDEN’S FIRST 100 DAYS: BROKEN PROMISES, EMPTY RHETORIC

President Biden marked his 100th day in office this week.

When he was sworn in, Biden pledged to work in a bipartisan manner to heal and unite America. Then, he immediately turned around and issued highly partisan and polarizing executive orders, including efforts that will harm America’s energy independence, restrict Second Amendment rights, and allow tax dollars to be spent on abortions around the world.

The Biden-Harris administration has also proposed an unprecedented $6 trillion in spending, using three different bills with flashy titles as one massive trojan horse for their far-Left agenda. That is why only nine percent of the $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” bill went towards pandemic-related measures, and less than six percent of the $2.1 trillion “infrastructure” bill contains funding for roads and bridges.

While I believe we must work towards solutions on issues like broadband expansion, affordable child care, and repairing roads and bridges, I do not believe the best way to address these issues is to spend $6 trillion on unrelated measures and drastically raise taxes on businesses to redistribute wealth. These proposals will create more inflation and could force businesses to relocate overseas, drive down wages, and destroy up to one million jobs. Not to mention, interest payments on the $28 trillion national debt will skyrocket, sending this country into a never-ending debt spiral. That is what socialism does to an economy.

In his first 100 days, Biden has not practiced what he preached. He pledged bipartisanship but has governed as a hardline coastal liberal. Unfortunately, his address to Congress on Wednesday proved this will not change in the coming months. All Americans should be concerned that Democrats’ massive tax-and-spend proposals are sending us down an economically and fiscally perilous path, and I will continue standing up against their reckless agenda.

PROTECTING THE UNBORN FROM CHEMICAL ABORTION DRUGS AND INFANTICIDE

To protect the unborn, last week I joined my colleagues in sending a letter urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop weakening Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for mifepristone, a chemical abortion drug. This is critical to protect both the health of unborn babies and women.

Additionally, 206 of my Republican colleagues have now signed on to the discharge petition to force a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which mandates that any infant born alive after an abortion receives the same standard of care as any newborn baby. It’s a shame that no Democrat has yet to join this effort to prevent infanticide — an effort that should not be partisan.

Protecting life is deeply important to me, and I’ve made it a top priority in my first few months serving in Congress. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure life is valued and protected from conception.

Read the letter by clicking here.

LACK OF LEADERSHIP FROM THE BIDEN ADMIN CONTINUES AS BORDER CRISIS RAGES ON

We’re facing a serious and tragic humanitarian crisis at our southern border, and the Biden-Harris administration is refusing to take it seriously. We must restore order at our southern border, and I was disappointed Biden once again failed to lay out a plan to address the crisis during his address to the nation.

The Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) has seen a 233% increase in fentanyl seizures and a 400% increase in the number of unlawful border crossings compared to March 2020 — reaching the highest level in 15 years. Over 20,000 of these crossings have been unaccompanied minors. Through open border policies, Biden has clearly created a humanitarian crisis at the southern border. Now, he is refusing to fix it — putting both Americans and migrants at risk.

The United States is founded on the principle of law and order. We cannot allow individuals to openly disregard our border policies.

THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY AGAIN OVERSTEPS IN REGARDS TO TAIWAN

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and even well before, Taiwan has been a close friend of the United States and many other countries when it comes to health care — helping out by supplying medical resources, providing health care expertise, and donating personal protection equipment (PPE).

The Chinese Communist Party has been pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to exclude Taiwan from the upcoming World Health Assembly. As a close ally of the U.S. and countries around the world in the fight against COVID-19, Taiwan must be included.

We are government together, and I am here to serve you. Your thoughts, concerns, and comments are very important to me. Always feel free to call (202) 225-4426 or visit my website at feenstra.house.gov.
Sincerely,

Friday, April 23, 2021

Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

This week, the House wrapped up session for the month of April with a controversial vote on D.C. statehood. Below are my thoughts on that issue, as well as the issues I addressed this week on the House Agriculture Committee. Also, if you haven’t yet, please be sure to like my Facebook page by clicking here to stay up-to-date throughout the week on the things I’m working on in the 4th District and in Washington!

SUPPORTING POLICIES THAT EMPOWER FARMERS AS DEMOCRATS REINTRODUCE DANGEROUS AND COSTLY GREEN NEW DEAL

After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) reintroduced the $93 trillion Green New Deal on Tuesday, I spoke out against Washington politicians attempting to force burdensome regulation on Iowa farmers.

Iowa farmers are good stewards of their land, and Washington politicians should not be telling our farmers how to operate. Period. That’s why I’m honored to support the PRECISE Act and the SUSTAINS Act, commonsense policies that empower our farmers and producers by incentivizing public-private partnerships and encouraging the use of precision ag technology. Iowa farmers stand ready and willing to utilize innovative solutions that will increase yields and result in cleaner water, soil, and air. We don’t need coastal elites forcing ridiculous regulations like the Green New Deal on our family farms.

Read more by clicking here.

HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVE BROADBAND DEPLOYMENT

On Wednesday, I participated in an Agriculture Committee hearing entitled, “Rural Broadband — Examining Internet Connectivity Needs and Opportunities in Rural America.”

As we work to end the digital divide and expand broadband access to rural areas, we must ensure providers who were awarded funding under the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund have the technical, financial, & operational capabilities to implement services they pledged to deliver.

Read more about this hearing on internet connectivity needs and opportunities in rural America:

Feenstra Highlights Importance of Effective Broadband…

As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, today Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) participated in a hearing entitled, “Rural Broadband – Examining Internet Connectivity Needs and Opportunities in Rural America.” Feenstra has made broadband a…

Read more

Friday, April 16, 2021

Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

Congress was back in session this week, and Wednesday marked my 100th day serving as your 4th District Representative. It is an honor each and every day to serve you in the halls of Congress. If you haven’t yet, please be sure to like my Facebook page by clicking here to stay up-to-date throughout the week on the things I’m working on in the 4th District and in Washington!

DEFENDING THE UNBORN

During my first 100 days in Congress, I have made it a top priority to defend the unborn. My faith teaches me that every person is created for a purpose and a reason, and that every person — both born and unborn — deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. That is why I am committed to being a voice for the voiceless and a defender of life. To that end, I have already cosponsored nearly a dozen pro-life pieces of legislation.

This comes at a time when the Biden administration has made it a point to attack pro-life policies, including an executive order issued early on in his presidency to reinstate the Mexico City Policy — allowing taxpayer dollars to be spent on abortions services around the world. This is simply unacceptable. Iowans do not want their money being used to pay for abortions halfway around the world.

Sadly, Democrats in Congress do not even support measures to end infanticide. On Wednesday, I joined my colleagues in signing a discharge petition to force a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which mandates that any infant born alive after an abortion receives the same standard of care as any newborn baby. Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats blocked the effort.

In the coming months, I will continue working with my colleagues to support pro-life legislation that helps preserve the fundamental right to life.

Read more by clicking here.

WARNING SIGNS OF INFLATION AS DEFICIT HITS RECORD HIGH

Spending trillions of dollars in money we do not have has consequences — and one of those consequences is inflation. Alarmingly, there is already evidence showing that damaging inflation is starting to occur. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) just had its highest monthly jump in almost 10 years, and consumers now pay 2.6 percent more for goods than they did in March of 2020.

If Democrats spend trillions more to pass Green New Deal-style policies — which is what they plan to do with their so-called “infrastructure” bill — it will only get worse. The U.S. already hit a record-high deficit, and now Democrats want to spend trillions more on things like: $400 billion to expand government-run health care, $174 billion in subsidies for electric vehicles, which would be devastating for Iowa’s biofuel industry, and $10 billion for a “Civilian Climate Corps.” I will continue fighting against out-of-touch liberal policies that will further bankrupt our country and potentially worsen economic conditions.

DEMOCRATS PROPOSE PACKING THE SUPREME COURT

For over 150 years, the Supreme Court has had nine justices. Democrats now want to add seats so they can pack the court with liberal justices who will legislate from the bench.

We cannot allow this to happen. That’s why I’m a proud co-sponsor of a constitutional amendment to keep the Supreme Court at nine justices.

 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

This week concluded our spring district work period, and I spent it traveling the state and meeting with Iowans — stopping in nearly a dozen more counties as part of my commitment to visit all 39 counties in the district at least twice a year.

READ MY LATEST COLUMN: GOVERNMENT TOGETHER

When I was sworn in as a member of Congress, I promised 4th District Iowans that I would work tirelessly to bring their voices to Washington. It has always been a top priority to ensure my constituents have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that affect our farmers, families, and rural main street businesses. This simply cannot be accomplished without traveling the district, meeting folks where they are, listening to concerns, and taking thoughts and ideas straight to Washington. That is why I recently announced my plan to visit all 39 counties in the 4th District at least twice every year.

In February, I sponsored an amendment to the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021. The proposal would give students in mentorship programs more opportunities to find employment by incorporating those programs into the national apprenticeship system. I was very pleased that my amendment passed the House with unanimous support. I never would have known about this oversight had I not met with members of Iowa Mentoring Partnership just a couple of weeks earlier, and I appreciate them informing me on this critical issue. It is crucial to maintain an open dialogue between constituents and their representatives, and this is just one excellent example.

I am here to serve you; after all, you elected me to be your voice in Congress. We are government together. I will continue being a passionate advocate for all Iowans in the 4th District, and I look forward to meeting Iowans and learning from them as I visit all 39 counties, twice a year.

Read the full column by clicking here.

HERE’S WHAT DEMOCRATS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR SO-CALLED “INFRASTRUCTURE” PROPOSAL

There’s a lot to unpack in President Biden and the Democrats’ latest multi-trillion-dollar spending proposal, which they are disingenuously referring to as “infrastructure.” Less than 5 percent ($100 billion) of the bill goes towards investment in broadband. Meanwhile, $174 billion would be spent on subsidies for electric vehicles and charging stations, and less than 6 percent of this massive bill would actually go towards roads and bridges. It would spend more on electric cars than roads, bridges, airports, and waterways combined. Put simply: It’s the Green New Deal disguised as an infrastructure bill, containing costly regulations that would destroy farms and businesses.

It gets worse. Biden is proposing tax hikes to pay for it. In fact, he has proposed the largest tax hike in a generation. This would drive down wages and drive up the cost of goods, meaning American workers and consumers will foot the bill for the Democrats’ radical agenda. As part of this proposal, the Biden Administration is also looking at eliminating Step-Up in Basis, which could devastate family farms by increasing taxes on inherited assets.

It’s clear that this proposal is just another reckless, tax-and-spend liberal wish list that will kill jobs and hinder economic growth right as we are beginning to recover. In the coming weeks and months, I will keep a close eye on this bill, propose improvements where I can, and fight against any regulations and tax hikes that I believe will be harmful to farmers and main street businesses.

I discussed the “infrastructure” plan with KGLO, which you can read about by clicking here.

Saturday, April 2, 2021

Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

This week I hit the road again, visiting nearly a dozen communities in the 4th District. I enjoyed hearing from Iowans on the issues that matter most to them. I cannot be an effective voice for you in Congress without traveling the district, listening to concerns, and taking thoughts and ideas straight to Washington.

ALL 39 COUNTIES, TWICE A YEAR

This week, I officially announced my plan to visit all 39 counties in the 4th District at least twice every year. I promised Iowans I would be transparent and accessible, and I will continue to fulfill that promise through these 78 visits. Speaking with farmers, health care providers, manufacturers, small business owners, families, and students throughout the district will allow me to be an effective voice in the halls of Congress for all Iowans.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the senior Senator from Iowa, Sen. Grassley, for setting the gold standard in meeting with Iowans. Now infamously known as the “Full Grassley,” he has set a great example and shown elected officials how representative government should work. We are here to serve you.

Here are a few pictures from some of my stops this week, including a meeting with Iowa Cattlemen in Calhoun County, a broadband discussion with Sen. Ernst in Pocahontas County, a tour of Choice Medical in Story County, and a tour of Bauer Built Manufacturing in Webster County. Thanks for having me!

BIDEN ADMIN UNVEILS YET ANOTHER MASSIVE “INFRASTRUCTURE” TAX-AND-SPEND PLAN

On Wednesday, President Biden rolled out his so-called $2.1 trillion “infrastructure” plan. Unfortunately, just like the $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” package Democrats just jammed through Congress and signed into law, it has very little to do with the title. Instead, it’s another Trojan Horse filled with far-left agenda items, Green New Deal-style provisions, and tax hikes on businesses that will fall on working Americans.

For example, this bill would spend more on electric cars than roads, bridges, ports, airports, and waterways combined. What the Biden Administration is proposing is not infrastructure. It’s another reckless, tax-and-spend proposal that will kill jobs and hinder economic growth right as we are beginning to recover. In the coming weeks and months, I will keep a close eye on this bill, propose improvements where I can, and fight against any regulations and tax hikes that I believe will be harmful to farmers and main street businesses.

BONUS

On Monday, we celebrated 100 years of the State Flag! I always keep our state motto in mind as I work on behalf of Iowans in Congress, and I will continue fighting to defend our rights and liberties.

 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Randy’s Roundup

Dear Friend,

After being in session for several weeks, this week was the beginning of our spring district work period. Throughout the next couple weeks, I’ll be busy with committee work and traveling the district to listen to your questions and concerns — the most important part of my job as your Representative.

CELEBRATING NATIONAL AGRICULTURE DAY

Tuesday was National Agriculture Day — a day for us to celebrate the hard-working farmers in the 4th District and across the country who work tirelessly to feed and fuel the world.

I’m truly humbled to serve one of the largest ag-producing districts in the country. Below are some fun facts on how our district compares to others in terms of ag production:

I also had the pleasure of meeting with several Iowa FFA members for National Ag Day, and I enjoyed our conversations on everything from the food supply chain and trade to biofuels and broadband.

ENCOURAGING TRADE WITH TAIWAN IN THE FACE OF AGGRESSION FROM CHINA

In 2020, Iowa exported $191 million in goods to Taiwan, making them our 13th largest trading partner. A U.S.-Taiwan trade agreement would boost our economy, and it’d represent an important investment in the Indo-Pacific region’s security and prosperity in the face of recent aggressive actions from the Chinese Communist Party.

That’s why I joined my colleagues in writing a letter to the Biden administration, urging them to pursue a free trade agreement with Taiwan. Read the full letter by clicking here.

UPDATE ON SARAH’S LAW

I am pleased to announce 17 more of my colleagues signed on as cosponsors of Sarah’s Law, a bill I recently introduced in the House along with Sen. Ernst, who introduced the same measure in the Senate. Given the crisis we are seeing unfold on our southern border, this commonsense proposal is getting a lot more attention. It is now more important than ever that we implement safe immigration laws that protect the American people.

Sarah’s Law would simply require federal law enforcement to detain illegal immigrants criminally charged with killing or seriously injuring another person — like the man who struck and killed Sarah Root when he was drunk driving and drag racing. He was charged with felony motor-vehicle homicide, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and faced up to 20 years in prison. However, due to an Obama-era policy loophole, he posted bond and was released. He has since disappeared and still has not been brought to justice nearly five years after Sarah’s death.

Now, Sarah’s Law has a total of 30 cosponsors and counting in the House. Sen. Ernst brought this bill to the floor in the Senate on Wednesday, and unfortunately, Democrats shot it down. I appreciate her continued leadership on this issue, and I will continue doing my part to get Sarah’s Law passed in the House.

ICYMI: MY BILL TO PROVIDE MORE AFFORDABLE LOAN OPTIONS FOR FARMERS

In case you missed it: Last week, I introduced a bill that would remove taxation on income from farm real estate loans made by community banks. The ECORA Act will benefit farmers, families, and rural communities across Iowa by allowing more institutions to offer affordable credit to rural and agricultural borrowers.

Read more by clicking here or below:

Feenstra Seeks Tax Break for Farm Real Estate Loans in…

IOWA – Congressman Randy Feenstra has introduced a bipartisan bill in the US House of Representatives to seek tax relief for American farmers. The Enhanced Credit Opportunities in Rural America Act would remove taxes on income from some farm real…
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who13.com

ANNOUNCING THE 2021 CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION

My office is now accepting submissions for the 2021 Congressional Art Competition, which is open to all high school students in the 4th District.

Learn more about the rules, how to submit your art, and what the prizes are by clicking here.

BONUS

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Little Miss Pigtails Savanah Hitchler & Hadley Ellensohn, along with Pork Queen Kiley Allen, at the Plymouth County Iowa Pork Producers banquet!

We are government together, and I am here to serve you. Your thoughts, concerns, and comments are very important to me. Always feel free to call (202) 225-4426 or visit my website at feenstra.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Friday, March 19, 2021

Randy’s Roundup: Supporting Iowa Workers and Defending Our Second Amendment Rights

Dear Friend,

This week, I was pleased legislation that I led to shore up the Crime Victims Fund passed the House with broad bipartisan support. I also introduced a new bill, the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America (ECORA) Act, a bipartisan measure that would benefit farmers, families, and rural communities across Iowa by allowing more institutions to offer affordable credit to rural and agricultural borrowers.

ENHANCING CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES IN RURAL AMERICA

I joined Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03) to introduce the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America (ECORA) Act, which would remove taxation on income from farm real estate loans made by community banks. The ECORA Act will benefit farmers, families, and rural communities across Iowa by allowing more institutions to offer affordable credit to rural and agricultural borrowers.

The ECORA Act is an important proposal that will help provide lower-cost loans to farmers and ranchers. Our hardworking farmers feed and fuel the world, and I will support any effort that provides the resources they need to succeed in today’s economy.

Read more by clicking here.

BILL TO PROVIDE CRIME VICTIMS WITH ASSISTANCE PASSES HOUSE

The VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 passed the House with bipartisan support. I was proud to lead my colleagues in passing this legislation, which aims to improve the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) by making updates to the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) that provides crime victims with much-needed assistance and compensation.

It is unacceptable that deposits into the Crime Victims Fund have been declining, and addressing this has become even more pressing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By preventing future cuts to the CVF, survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking and other crimes will have a reliable, sustainable resource for getting the assistance they need and deserve.

Read more by clicking here.

PRESIDENT BIDEN LOOKING TO IMPLEMENT LARGEST TAX HIKE IN 30 YEARS

After passing a reckless $1.9 trillion spending bill that prioritized bailouts for mismanaged states, President Biden is now eyeing a $2.1 trillion tax hike — which would be the largest tax hike in 30 years.

Like I have previously warned, Iowans are going to have to foot the bill for the Democrats’ costly, partisan agenda.

MORE VACCINES COMING TO RURAL IOWA

After a letter from the Iowa delegation, several community health centers — including Siouxland Community Health in the 4th District — will be included in the next round of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program.

The HRSA and CDC launched this program to directly allocate COVID-19 vaccines to HRSA-supported health centers to ensure that rural communities and those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are equitably vaccinated.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Randy’s Roundup: Supporting Iowa Workers and Defending Our Second Amendment Rights

 

TWO AGRICULTURE SUBCOMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

I’m excited to announce I’ve been selected to serve on two House Agriculture subcommittees: Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, and Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit. These two subcommittees cover many policy areas that are important to the 4th District. I’m looking forward to giving farmers a seat at the table on these subcommittees, where we will have significant discussions on everything from trade and pricing transparency to biodiesel production and rural development.

Read more by clicking here.

 

NEW: Cosponsoring the Death Tax Repeal Act & Main Street Tax Certainty Act

Farmers and small business owners form the backbone of our economy. They should be able to keep more of their hard-earned money — not penalized or hit with surprise tax bills. That’s why I’m a proud cosponsor of the Death Tax Repeal Act and the Main Street Tax Certainty Act. I will continue working to enact policies that ease the tax burden on family farmers and small business owners.

 

DEMOCRATS SIGN $1.9 TRILLION SPENDING BILL INTO LAW

On Wednesday, I spoke during debate on the Democrats’ reckless $1.9 trillion spending bill, which only contains NINE PERCENT in funding for COVID mitigation-related efforts. This bill does not “rescue” our country; it puts us and future generations at risk by driving us further into debt — all so Democrats can advance their partisan political agenda.

We currently enjoy low-interest rates, but reckless spending will lead to inflation. Inflation will likely lead to interest rate hikes (for example, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to 20 percent to fight inflation in the 1980s). With our national debt already at $28 trillion, higher interest would cause a 𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐜 𝐝𝐞𝐛𝐭 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐥. That’s why I’m strongly opposed to this $1.9 trillion out-of-control spending bill. We have a responsibility to spend taxpayer money wisely to secure a bright future for our children & grandchildren.

Watch my floor remarks by clicking here

PRO Act: AN ATTACK ON WORKERS’ RIGHTS

With the so-called “PRO Act” that passed the House this week, Democrats once again attacked workers by prioritizing the interests of union bosses. This bill would stifle the rights of hardworking Iowans by forcing them into one-size-fits-all contracts, exposing their personal information without their consent, and curbing their ability to work as independent contractors.

What’s worse, it would repeal Iowa’s right-to-work law, meaning thousands of Iowans would be forced to use a chunk of their hard-earned paycheck to become a member of a union they don’t even want to join. Not only would it lower take-home pay, but it would also allow unions to use workers’ money to fund left-wing groups like Planned Parenthood. Any comprehensive labor reform bill should prioritize workers, but this bill prioritizes union bosses. That’s why I strongly opposed this bill.

 

BILLS TO LIMIT SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS PASS THE HOUSE

A week after voting to defund the police, Democrats attempted to restrict Iowans’ Second Amendment rights. I firmly believe it is every Americans’ fundamental, constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Our Founding Fathers enshrined the Second Amendment in our Constitution to ensure the American people would not be tempted to trade their liberty for the promises of security.

Unfortunately, implementing universal background checks, an invasive national gun registry, and dramatically expanding waiting periods would make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase and carry a firearm. That’s why I voted ‘no’ on these proposals, and I will continue to fight against any attempts to infringe on the Second Amendment.

ANNOUNCING THE 2021 CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION

My office is now accepting submissions for the 2021 Congressional Art Competition, which is open to all high school students in the 4th District.

Learn more about the rules, how to submit your art, and what the prizes are by clicking here.

 

BONUS

Congratulations to the following Iowa Girls High School State Basketball champions from the 4th District, and congratulations to all the athletes who participated in last week’s tournament on your outstanding seasons!

1A: Newell-Fonda Community School District

2A: Dike-New Hartford

3A: Unity Christian High School

4A: Ballard Community School District

Friday, February 19, 2021
Randy’s Roundup: Delivering relief for natural disaster victims

On Monday, August 10, 2020, a massive storm system with high winds and isolated tornadoes tore through the Midwest, leaving a 700-mile path of destruction in its wake — from Nebraska all the way to Indiana. In Iowa, early estimates indicated that 43 percent of cropland was impacted across the state, flattening millions of acres of corn and soybeans, crippling grain bins, and tearing barns and machine sheds apart.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated damages from the storm, known as a derecho, would amount to $7.5 billion — making it the most costly severe thunderstorm in United States history. The highest wind gust was clocked in Atkins, Iowa at an eye-popping 126 mph, and it was estimated that peak wind gusts reached 140 mph. These extreme winds are the equivalent of what would be expected in an EF3 tornado or major hurricane.

When this devastating storm swept across the Midwest, many producers were already grappling with market disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the derecho exacerbated the challenges many farmers were facing. As Congress began debating the latest stimulus bill, I kept this in mind and made it a priority to deliver much-needed relief for farmers and rural businesses impacted by the derecho and other natural disasters.

Last week, House committees began the markup process on the Democrats’ proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I met with my colleagues on this committee to consider the $16.1 billion ag section of the bill. I had some concerns about how the money was being spent, so I proposed several amendments to improve the bill — including one to provide additional relief for producers impacted by natural disasters in 2020.

I am extremely pleased that my amendment, which would include assistance for those affected by high wind storms like last summer’s derecho, was adopted by the House Agriculture Committee. By reallocating some of the funds appropriated in the original bill to be used for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP), this legislation will help thousands of producers across the country who have suffered losses from natural disasters or severe weather — including floods, snowstorms, and droughts.

Iowa is not the only state that stands to benefit from this effort. We suffered from both drought and the derecho, but many states in the South and West were also affected by wildfires, severe droughts, and other weather-related incidences that further harmed producers and rural businesses who were already dealing with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

While the overall stimulus package is chock-full of Democrats’ reckless spending proposals and far-left agenda items, this commonsense amendment will provide much-needed, timely relief for those in the agriculture community who have been affected by the pandemic and natural disasters.

I was elected to deliver results for Iowa farmers, main street businesses, and working families, and that is exactly what I am doing. As the breadbasket to the world, I will continue fighting tirelessly to deliver for the hardworking men and women in our agriculture community.

Randy Feenstra was born and raised in Hull, Iowa, where he has served as City Administrator, Sioux County Treasurer, and Iowa State Senator. In January, he began serving his first term in Congress, representing Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Randy’s Roundup: My First Month in Congress

FIGHTING FOR FARMERS: My Amendment Securing Derecho Relief Passes House Ag Committee

This week, the House began the committee markup process on the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, so the House Agriculture met for the first time to consider the ag section of this legislation. In an effort to improve the bill, I introduced several amendments that were considered during the hearing — including one to authorize the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) to include those in need of assistance from last summer’s massive derecho storm, which exacerbated the challenges Iowa farmers are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a big win for Iowa farmers, I’m proud to say that my amendment passed out of the House Agriculture Committee. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this committee moving forward to deliver more results for our agriculture community.

On Day One, Congressman Feenstra promised he would work tirelessly to deliver results for the people of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. Here is a quick rundown on what Randy and his staff have accomplished in a little over a month:

LEGISLATIVE WORK

  • 16 bills cosponsored
  • 8 letters sent to congressional leadership and the Biden Administration
  • 2 floors speeches
  • 1 amendment passed off the floor

CONSTITUENT WORK

  • 4,224 responses to constituents sent — including via letters, e-mails, and phone calls
  • 1,050 calls and 40 meetings with constituents
  • 21 constituent cases closed
  • Randy has communicated with constituents throughout the district by delivering updates through 15 radio interviews

MY AMENDMENT EXPANDING APPRENTICESHIP ACCESS PASSES HOUSE

Last week, I sponsored an amendment to the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021. My amendment will give students more chances to find employment opportunities through valuable mentorship programs. I’m pleased that this amendment passed with unanimous, bipartisan support.

MY LATEST COLUMN: Deficit Reduction and Control is Paramount

I wrote a column on the importance of reducing our national debt and getting our deficit under control. As a father of four, I firmly believe it is my responsibility as an elected official to leave this country better than I found it. That begins by balancing the federal budget and getting our country’s fiscal house in order by fighting against reckless, blue state-style spending.

I am committed to standing up for American taxpayers. This is your money — not the governments. I will always fight to enact fiscally responsible policies as a newly appointed member of the House Committee on the Budget.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Randy’s Roundup: Giving Iowans a Seat at the Table

I’m truly humbled that 4th District Iowans have entrusted me to represent them in the halls of Congress. We are government together, and I am here to work for you. I was elected based on a promise that I would deliver for Iowans, and after an incredibly busy first month in Congress, I’m proud of what we have already been able to accomplish.

SWEARING IN

On January 3rd, I put my hand on our family’s Bible and took the oath of office. Guided by faith and support from my family, it is my solemn promise to Iowans that I will defend the Constitution of the United States and faithfully discharge my duties as a United States Representative.

Today, Randy Feenstra (IA-04) was sworn-in to serve as the next representative for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. 

“I am truly humbled that Iowans in the 4th District elected me to represent them in the halls of Congress, and starting today, I will work tirelessly to make sure they have a seat at the table when making decisions that affect our farmers and main streets,” said Rep. Feenstra. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in Iowa and throughout the country on delivering conservative solutions that will create a booming economy for taxpayers and allow our rural communities to grow and thrive.

“Along with 4th District Iowans, I’d like to thank my wife and family for their love and support. Guided by faith and family, it is my solemn promise to Iowans that I will defend the Constitution of the United States and faithfully discharge my duties as a United States Representative.”

Rep. Feenstra was born and raised in Hull, Iowa, where he has served as City Administrator, Sioux County Treasurer, and Iowa State Senator. Feenstra received a bachelor’s degree from Dordt University and went on to receive his MPA from Iowa State University. After a successful tenure as head of sales for the Foreign Candy Company, he began teaching business classes at Dordt University. He is married to his wife of 28 years, Lynette, and they have 4 children — Taylor, Erika, Dawson, and Savannah.

Click Here to Read More: Feenstra Takes Oath of Office

 

COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

I promised 4th District Iowans that I would deliver a seat on the House Agriculture Committee, and that’s why I’m thrilled to announce I have secured a seat on this important committee.

Corn and soybean growers — along with our livestock, egg, dairy, poultry, ethanol, and biodiesel producers — form the backbone of the 4th District’s economy. As the second-largest ag producing district in the country, it is vital that our hardworking farmers have a seat at the table on the House Agriculture Committee.

I have already taken action to help rural Iowans. I joined my colleagues on a bicameral, bipartisan letter urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure their latest broadband initiative provides Iowans with quality, high-speed internet service.

I also immediately joined the Biofuels Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers focused on supporting biofuels producers by defending the Renewable Fuel Standard and fighting for expanded access to higher biofuel blends. As the number one state in ethanol and biodiesel production, it is imperative that Iowa’s biofuels producers have a seat at the table in Washington. One of my first actions as a member of this caucus was signing a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject pending small refinery exemptions (SREs).

In addition to serving Iowans on the House Agriculture Committee, I was also selected to serve on the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. On these committees, I will work to address our growing national debt crisis and look for opportunities to advance agricultural technology to improve the lives of Iowa farmers. Learn more about my placement on these committees by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

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