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Conaway addresses Farm Bill, midterms - Odessa American: Government

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Conaway addresses Farm Bill, midterms

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Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:36 pm

With the current Farm Bill set to expire Sept. 30, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway of Midland said today that he had been working overtime to get senators to accept the House’s more stringent requirements for food stamp recipients.

Explaining that the current five-year bill too liberally allows waivers for SNAP’s (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s) job-seeking and employment regulations, the Republican said some farm state senators are willing to compromise in the House and Senate Conference Committee “because they want a farm bill.

“It is frustrating because I take a lot of pride in my authorship,” Conaway said. “Cotton is the biggest row crop in the 11th Congressional District and the bill will strengthen the safety net with yield updates for the severe drought we’ve been in.”

Conaway met with the OA Editorial Board after addressing the Ector County Republican Women today at Odessa Country Club. He is up for re-election with Democrat Jennie Lou Leeder as a challenger.

The 70-year-old congressman said the stresses of working in Washington have made no significant changes in his personal life other than lessening the time he can spend with his wife Suzanne and seven grandchildren.

Referring to the June 14, 2017, episode in which a man shot a congressman, a legislative aide and a lobbyist during Republicans’ practice for the Congressional Baseball Game, Conaway said, “I got shot at a couple of years ago and that has made Suzanne and me more aware that crazy folks are out there.”

“There are 151 days from Jan. 1 through the end of May and we spent 48 nights together and 103 apart.”

Asked if there’s a chance the GOP will lose control of the House Nov. 6, he said, “It’s better than any of us would like.

“We have 237 seats now and I think we could lose down to 222 or 225.”

Noting that 218 is a majority in the 435-seat House, he said each party has about 180 “rock solid” seats and the outcome will be determined by the 60-70 districts “in the middle.

“It’ll be up to those folks and their attitude about President Trump and how good of a job he has done,” Conaway said. “I think we will keep the House and pick up a couple of seats in the Senate.”

“This election is different because there is a lot more vitriol toward the president than normal because the Democrats have not accepted that he won. The comedians and media pound away at him, but I focus on what he is doing with roaring economy, tax reform, regulatory relief and his Supreme Court appointments.”

“We have a president who is standing up for our country, looking China in the eye and saying, ‘You’re cheating and I’m not going to let you cheat our country.’ People like having a guy stand up for America because we didn’t have that for eight years with President Obama.”

Odessa, TX

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