Mike Conaway, R-Texas, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, says the issue is not dead. “The fight is not over. The Committee believes the Secretary has the authority to make the designation.”
Conaway says he and others on the committee, along with cotton industry representatives, continue to discuss the possibilities with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who, he says, is aware of the importance of cotton and the challenges facing the industry. “Our lawyers say it is permitted under the farm bill and his lawyers say it is not,” Conaway added in a press briefing following his official remarks. “We tend to listen to the lawyers we are paying.”
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Conaway urged growers to “keep doing what you’re doing—write letters, communicate and pass any suggestions you have to us.”
The Chairman was keynote speaker at the National Cotton Council economic outlook session during the NCC annual meeting in Dallas.