Opening of 114th Congress Presents New Opportunities, Challenges

Jan 06, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC -- Eighty-four new members of Congress, 56 Republicans and 18 Democrats, were sworn in today at the official opening of the 114th Congress.  Along with new members, there also will be new faces in key committee chairmanships important to the rice industry.  Mike Conaway (R-TX) will become Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.  In the Senate, Pat Roberts (R-KS) will take the reins of the Agriculture Committee, while Thad Cochran (R-MS) will chair the Appropriations Committee.
Washington welcomed the legislative newcomers with the first snow storm of the year that paralyzed the region this morning, however, unaffected was John Owen, a rice farmer from Rayne, LA and chairman of the USA Rice Producers' Group, who attended several Capitol Hill ceremonies, including a reception for and the swearing in of Representative Conaway. Owen also attended the swearing in of Ralph Abraham (R-LA) who will be representing Louisiana's 5th district.
"It was a special honor to be at the swearing in of my friend, Ralph Abraham," said Owen. "Representative Abraham is just one of the many new faces in the 114th Congress, and seeing them all together today drives home that we have our work cut out for us as we get to know them all, and educate the Members and their staff about the rice industry.  Next month's Government Affairs Conference will be the perfect educational opportunity, for us, but also for Congress, and I'm looking forward to it."
Contact:  Ben Mosely (703) 236-1471