While King aimed to get points with his local-boy reputation and his anti-abortion, pro-gun stances, Vilsack made the stalled Farm Bill a central part of the debate. In her opening statement, Vilsack discussed the importance of the legislation that helps give farmers a safety net and fund the food stamps program, and she returned to the subject many times during the one hour debate.
Vilsack cited the fact that King was the only member of the Iowa delegation not to sign a discharge petition, which would force a vote on the House floor if it was signed by a majority of the House of Representatives. "I think there are $136,000 reasons why he didn't do that and those are the dollars that he is receiving from the Club for Growth," Vilsack said.
King responded that he was fighting hard to get a farm bill passed, and that he had assurances from House Speaker John Boehner that it would be brought up in the lame duck.
"I'm sitting in a position where I expect to be on the conference committee and we'll have a voice of Iowa there when we hammer the last bill out," King said.
The next debate is scheduled for October 9th in Sioux City. Expect something similar.