Commentary: Put the heat on Congress ― at home!

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It is really hot in Texas. No kidding—but then it is August. Not coincidentally, Congress is at home for recess. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) wants its members to make things just a little hotter for those elected officials when they get back to their districts.

The question is, just when does refusing to compromise, on anything, put their jobs at risk? Where is the accountability? We’ve got most of the same problems we had a year ago. There is no sense of urgency—no inclination to cast the tough vote or make the right decision for the country.

From the standpoint of Texas farmers, two issues really stand out. We still badly need a farm bill. Farmers just can’t assume the risks of drought, hail, flood and other natural calamities without a safety net. We also need immigration reform with a strong and reliable guest worker program. Some commodities—like fruits, vegetables, dairy and others—need workers. Without immigration reform, the migration of these farming businesses to other countries that has already started will accelerate.

The dysfunction in our nation’s capital is way beyond embarrassing. No one wants to compromise. This is true of both parties and, honestly, some of you. Bring the heat. Tell them it’s time to figure out a way to make our government work.

Let’s go back to that word “recess” again. My wife taught kindergarten for 18 years. One of the first things she taught her five-year-old charges was, “You can’t have your way all the time.” We should all give the same advice to the people we hired with our votes. Recess will soon be over. Go back to Washington. Get to work. Get it done.



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