Congressmen busy at Illinois State Fair Ag Day

Illinois Congressmen discussed a variety of rural affairs during Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair. (Dave Dahl/WJBC)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Ag Day is a busy day at the Illinois State Fair, and you can count members of Congress among the busy.

Four Downstate Congressmen, all Republicans, participated in a policy discussion which included U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) outline his opposition to President Trump’s stance on trade.

“I think farmers want trade. They don’t want aid or subsidies,” LaHood told reporters afterward. “I don’t think subsidies and $12 billion is a long-term solution to this. I worry about losing market share, and that’s what I told the President. We have a market share in China when it comes to soybeans. We don’t want to lose that market share.”

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says the “work program” element he wants to see in SNAP – food stamps – in the Farm Bill is really about education and training. “This is our chance to take an existing program, invest $1 billion a year nationwide, to pair up people who are work-capable who are on food stamps with skills training in their local community colleges or apprentice programs, and then get them paired up with a job that we know are available right now.”

Also on hand were U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and John Shimkus (R-Taylorville), along with the assistant secretary of the Army who oversees the Corps of Engineers, R.D. James.

James’ itinerary also included a trip to Versailles, in western Illinois, for an announcement of a $12 million upgrade to the LaGrange Lock and Dam.


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