By CLINT FOSTER
While making his rounds in Texas’ 11th Congressional District, US Congressman Mike Conaway stopped by a lunch meeting of the Mineral Wells Rotary Club, Wednesday, to speak on a wide range of topics of national importance. There was not an empty seat in the room at Holiday Hills Country Club, as a virtually who’s who of Mineral Wells showed up to hear the Republican serving his fifth term in the US House of Representatives.
“Rotary’s always a great place to come because they have community leaders here who are actively involved in the community,” Conaway told the Index. “Most of these guys are opinion leaders in the community and it’s great to be exposed to them and have a chance to visit with them.”
Conaway was invited to the meeting by Rotary Club member and Owner of the local Days Inn, Roger Patel, whom Conaway said has hosted him on many of his trips to Mineral Wells.
Among the many topics Conaway presented were:
• The passage of a joint budget and gross spending plan for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, set at $1.12 trillion and 1.14 trillion, respectively. Conaway said, although President Obama is difficult to deal with on the subject of government spending, spending is “down and going in the right direction.”
• Budget cuts for the IRS and a trimming of Environmental Protection Agency employees.
• Changes in retired military Cost of Living Adjustments. Conaway said no retirees’ checks will go down, but they will see a reduction in the rate of growth for their pensions. He said it is “part of shrinking government.”
• The need for reform to the Food Stamp program by adding a work requirement. Conaway said 10 percent of food stamp recipients (4 million people) are able bodied adults, under 50, with no dependents. He gave the example of a 27-year-old California surfer who recently appeared on television and lives on food stamps with no job. “I don’t begrudge him his surfer ambitions,” Conaway said. “I do begrudge him being an able-bodied, healthy, 27 year old that doesn’t have to work.”