DES MOINES, Iowa -- As America waits on new trade deals with China to kick in, President Donald Trump is ready to pump more aid to farmers. An Iowa congresswoman says that approach just isn’t enough.
On Friday, Trump took to Twitter to announce federal aid for struggling farmers, “Will be provided by the federal government, paid for out of the massive tariff money coming into the USA!”
Democrat and U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne met with Iowans Saturday morning in Des Moines’ Beaverdale neighborhood. Under "phase one" of the trade deal that Trump agreed to in January, China is required to spend $40 billion dollars on U.S. agricultural products a year. Axne agrees that phase one of the trade deal with China will begin to bring Iowans relief but it needs to begin sooner rather than later. She does not agree with the president’s current approach to alleviate a problem that has already seen $27 billion in assistance to farmers.
"Our farmers don’t want to continue to receive aid. They want trade. So it’s really disappointing to see that the president just wants to throw more money as opposed to giving them the marketplace opportunity they need," said Axne.
Axne is also hoping to speed up the start date of a groundbreaking law she helped pass last session. The National Defense Authorization Act is slated to begin in October, and for the first time would provide parental leave to federal workers in fields like the National Guard or Veterans Affairs.
Axne says expecting parents due to have a baby before October shouldn’t suffer. She, along with representatives from Nebraska, Illinois and New York, are encouraging federal agencies to begin parental leave policies as soon as possible. Axne said, "I heard from folks in our National Guard. One couple serves and if we can’t get this in place earlier they will have to leave their job to take care of their family. We should never have to make folks who want to serve our country make a decision between serving our country and being able to have their own family."
Prior to this change, the United States and Suriname in South America were the only two countries in the western hemisphere that did not offer any paid leave for either parent.