Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) attempt to stop California laws that regulate egg-laying hens and foie gras has escalated an animal-rights battle.

King, in a midnight vote, got an amendment attached to the 2012 farm bill aimed at stopping a California law banning the sale of eggs harvested from hens living in tiny cages where they cannot spread their wings. It also stops another law from banning the sale of foie gras made using forced feeding.

The lawmaker’s move infuriated animal-rights activists because it would hurt their attempts to secure better living conditions for the animals.