19th Congressional District Representative Jodey Arrington was in Levelland on Wednesday to host a town hall meeting with constituents of the 19th Congressional District. He was introduced by South Plains College President Dr. Robin Satterwhite.
Congressman Arrington is only the 5th person to represent the 19th Congressional District since it was formed in 1935. He is a member of the Ag committee and Veterans Affairs Committee as part of being the 19th Congressional district representative.
Arrington began by saying he was glad to be on the campus of SPC and thanked them for their partnership with Texas Tech University.
He said, “I am reminded, being from a rural district, I know I have to work harder”. He said in his first term, he believes we have made headway, but you can’t turn it around overnight. He noted that ag and energy production is the backbone of the economy in this district and I will always remind others in Washington of their importance to the economy in West Texas. Energy Independence is important to National Security and a lot of that has to do with West Texas. “The 19th District is the energy and oil Capital of the United States,” said Arrington.
He said one of his most important goals for his first term in office was to get cotton back into the farm bill. He noted that West Texas farmers have been on hard times since cotton was removed from the farm bill in 2014. He noted that it is now back in the farm bill and is protected and will stay. He said it is even better than it was when it was taken out in 2014 farm bill, it will amount to billions of dollars for the state of Texas and much of that will come to West Texas.
We are currently in a farm bill negotiation phase and the house and senate representatives are negotiating the bill. Both the house and senate have approved their respective bills. He noted that one thing being looked at is broadband infrastructure in rural communities. He noted that many smaller, rural communities do not have the basic infrastructure necessary for high speed internet. He also said revamping the food stamp program is a high priority of the house. He noted he is all for helping those in need, but prefers the “safety net” be at the local level. He noted the house version of the 2018 farm bill said that all able bodied adults would have to prove they are searching for or training for a job. He noted that the elderly and disabled would not be required to comply with the requirement. It was also noted that the requirement is only, working 20 hours a week, which he commented is a “weak requirement.”
Their are seven million able bodied adults on welfare and not working currently in the United States. House did a good job putting work requirements in the bill, the Senate left all work requirements out.
He said government is too big and we need to limit the federal government involvement. He noted that tax reforms are being discussed. He said the regulatory state of the federal government has caused major burdens on the economy. He also said that 16 elements of the affordable care act have been repealed but we have a ways to go to fix healthcare in the United States. He noted, I don’t think anyone on the federal level can help the health care, it will have to come from the state and local level.
Congressman Arrington said he is the most proud of legislation passed to help our Veterans including bills to help disabled veterans with streamlined modification for home renovation for handicap accessibility and streamlining the home buying process for veterans.