Thursday, February 17, 2011

Texas Delegation Speaks Up on Capitol Hill

Commissioner Staples speaks with Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco

Wednesday was a busy and productive day as we took a break from our National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) meetings to visit Capitol Hill. I had the valuable opportunity to meet with some fellow Texans who are working hard for the Lone Star State and our nation.

I met with nearly a dozen of our Texas Congressional delegation, including Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. Along with visiting with many of our senior members of our House delegation, I talked with Representatives Bill Flores and Francisco “Quico” Canseco who are experiencing their first session. Topics of conversation ranged from the Environmental Protection Agency’s overbearing greenhouse gas regulations to the pending and much-needed free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Not surprisingly, my Texas colleagues also were particularly impassioned about the ongoing discussions regarding a cross-border trucking resolution with Mexico and the dire need for federal enforcement to help secure our borders and protect the families of our farmers and ranchers who live under the constant threat of violence from Mexican drug cartels.

Obviously, these kinds of discussions and debates tend to draw lines in the sand between Texas and Washington -- which is exactly why NASDA is so important. By uniting and rallying support for our vital Texas and U.S. agriculture industries, we can speak louder and clearer to our leaders in Washington on behalf of consumers, farmers and ranchers. Let’s hope they listen.

I know our Texas Congressional delegation is listening and I appreciate them taking the time to visit with me. I’d like to thank my NASDA colleagues for joining me this week in Washington to speak up on these important issues. Together we will be heard.

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