Congressman James Comer looks to be reelected so he can fight for rural issues

With 35 counties in southern Kentucky, the first congressional district is considered one of the most rural in the nation. Congressman James Comer discusses his work on rural issues.

Kentucky’s first congressional district is represented by farmer, and former Ag Commissioner, James Comer. He says that the next Farm Bill should focus on providing federal crop insurance and competition in the beef industry.

According to Comer, “We have to focus on trying to get more competition in the beef cattle processing industry. I think that some of the new programs that are out now and some of the things we did in Kentucky, when I was Ag Commissioner to try to help small producers be able to market their own beef, I think that is added competition to the four major beef processors.”

He says that packing plant workers are essential employees during the pandemic and that it is important to prioritize labor issues in agriculture.

“We need to focus on farm labor,” he states. “I know that’s normally not a part of the Farm Bill, but we’ve got to make it easier for farmers to get guest workers into the United States, and I know that conversation is caught up with the whole immigration debate,” he notes. “Hopefully moving forward, people on both sides of the aisle will realize that the food supply is of the utmost importance for national security.”

As schools try to balance in person and virtual learning, Congressman Comer says that broadband should be treated like electricity.

He explains, “We have a broadband crisis in rural America. So, when we talk about infrastructure moving forward, and I think that next Congress, the first bill that will pass will be a major bipartisan infrastructure bill, but for me the most important part of infrastructure, representing rural America, is broadband and we have to treat broadband like we treated TVA with electricity.”

On trade, he says that Congress needs to work through challenges with China, to ensure market access for agricultural commodities.

“We have to recognize the fact that for agriculture to continue to be prosperous, we have to have trade with China. So, I hope that after this election, we can sit down in Washington and have a mature conversation about trade relations with China moving forward,” he adds. “I recognize the fact that China manipulates their currency, they cheat, they steal our intellectual property, but at the end of the day, representing a rural agricultural district, we need that Chinese market.”

Congressman Comer currently serves on the House Oversight Committee and the Committee on Education and Labor.

For the full interview click HERE.

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