On February 3, 2015, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (“PICA”) was reintroduced by Representative Steve King of Iowa. Representative King originally introduced PICA last year as an amendment to the farm bill.
The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Rod Blum (R-IA), David Young (R-IA), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), and David Rouzer (R-NC).
PICA would prohibit states from impeding interstate or foreign commerce through state-specific regulation of manufacturing and distribution. According to Representative King, PICA would only stop states from placing requirements on manufacturers located in other states, it would not stop a state from regulating manufacturing located within the state.
Representative King claims that California’s recent regulation of the egg industry through restrictions of chicken cage size is the perfect example of a state’s improper interference with interstate commerce. California’s new laws require a majority of American egg producers to significantly alter their production methods in order to sell eggs in the State of California. There is some concern that California’s laws will impact the egg industry in other states.
Opponents of the bill claim PICA runs afoul of states’ rights, endangers animals and the environment, and threatens the environment. The bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee.