Economic growth, immigration reform and the ability to compromise will be the major challenges facing the 114th Congress next year, according to Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi, who is slated to provide the Chairman’s Lecture at the 2015 Dairy Forum. Barbour, who also is the former chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a leading political strategist, recently sat down with Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO, to discuss what it takes to handle political challenges and turn them into opportunities.
“Congress is going to come to town with a full platter,” Barbour, said, adding that “they have to come to town ready to work.”
He stressed that members of the next Congress will need to understand the importance of compromise. “For our process to work, everybody has to do their part. These guys have to come up here with the understanding we are not going to cram it down the other side’s throat – like they did Obamacare,” Barbour said.
He also said that the next Congress has to tackle economic growth, noting “about half of the people in America can’t tell we’re out of a recession. The median family income has gone down about five percent since 2007.”
Another top priority that Barbour sees is immigration reform. As co-chairman of the Immigration Task Force at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Barbour is calling for a comprehensive legislative package.
“We need to make immigration about work, and I’m in favor of moving the system to where there is more favoritism given to those people who came here to work,” he said. “But first we have to secure the border. We promised the American people we would do that in 1986, and they don’t want to hear more promises.”
Dairy Forum 2015, which will be held January 25 to 28, 2015 in Boca Raton, Fla., and Barbour’s presentation on Sunday, January 25, will kick off the four-day event.
For more information, contact Maria Velasco, IDFA meetings assistant and registrar, at firstname.lastname@example.org.