A bill that would make English the official national language was introduced in Congress Wednesday by Iowa Representative Steve King, a republican from Kiron. It mirrors a bill King pushed through the Iowa legislature a few years ago when King was a state Senator. If the new national legislation makes it to the U-S Senate, King shouldn’t expect any help from Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a democrat. Harkin says “Quite frankly, I think we’ve got more important problems to tackle around here, you know, like Social Security, like fighting drugs and the cuts in the budget the president’s proposing in law enforcement. I think we’ve got problems with this huge deficit that’s confronting us in this country. It’s a black hole that’s sucking up all of our finances.” King spearheaded a bill which Governor Vilsack signed three years ago, making Iowa the 27th state to adopt English as its official language. Officials with the Indianapolis 500 say they’ll start using corn-based ethanol-blended fuel in race cars next year, switching to all-ethanol the following year. Senator Harkin says it’s a big plus for Iowa’s growing ethanol industry. The Indy cars now use a methanol blend, which is produced using natural gas. Next year, the cars will use a methanol-ethanol blend and in 2007, they’ll be running only on ethanol. The switch to the renewable ethanol will cover the so-called granddaddy of races, the Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend, as well as 16 other races in the Indy series. A federal judge in Montana ruled yesterday to delay the planned reopening of the U.S. border with Canada. The judge ruled the U-S-D-A can not allow imports of live cattle and beef products starting Monday. Senator Harkin says it will certainly be appealed, but it’s not clear how quickly it’ll happen. Harkin says if the case isn’t heard before March 7th, the Canadian beef imports will be put off for a while, unless they can get another court to overturn the ruling. A cattlemen’s group called for the border to remain closed due to concerns over mad cow disease in Canada.
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