Making her final push for reelection in the GOP primary runoff, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) demonstrated her influence on farming issues by hosting House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) for a tour of Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District.
Roby and Conaway visited with producers and local leaders in Pike, Coffee, and Geneva Counties and spoke about efforts in Congress to pass the Farm Bill, which sets the nation’s agriculture policy for the next five years. The House and Senate have passed different versions of the bill, meaning conference committee between the two chambers will be needed to hammer out the differences before final passage.
“I deeply appreciate House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and his wife, Suzanne making themselves available to the farmers in Alabama’s Second District,” Roby said.
“I believe it was a truly valuable experience for the people I represent to have the opportunity to discuss with me and the Ag Chairman the agriculture policies before Congress, especially the Farm Bill. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to deliver a smart, strong farm bill to the President for his signature soon.”
Roby’s opponent in the July 17 runoff, former Congressman Bobby Bright has made agriculture an issue in his campaign, pledging to seek a spot on the House Agriculture Committee if elected. He has accused Roby of “giving up critical seats” on the Agriculture and Armed Services Committees.
In 2015, Roby was forced to give up those assignments for a coveted spot on the House Appropriations Committee, which no 2nd District Congressman has ever held. She now sits on Defense Appropriations, offering the district a seat at the table for funding decisions for military bases like Fort Rucker and Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.
Conaway, the Ag Committee chairman, said the agriculture community needs members like Roby on Appropriations to influence on how those Farm Bill dollars are allocated year to year.
“I can’t say enough about Martha and the work she does,” Conaway said. “She’s a terrific ally on the Appropriations Committee. She helps make a lot of the decisions on funding for the things we are going to try to authorize in the Farm Bill. You have a terrific representative in her, and we really need her back in Congress.”
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell also had high praise for Roby.
“She has always been a voice in Washington for our farmers,” Parnell said. “We depend on her conservative leadership and integrity. She has truly been a friend to farmers and all Alabamians.”