AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — Members of the Agri-Business Community met with Senator Ted Cruz in Amarillo for a one-hour question and answer session on Thursday to discuss current issues businesses are coping with. While issues may linger folks could vent their frustration to a well-known politician.
“Right now, the state of Texas has a bullseye on it," said Cruz. "This administration doesn’t like our state and is looking to punish our state.”
The CEO and president of Amarillo’s Chamber of Commerce who helped organize the meeting tells ABC 7 News those who run businesses in agriculture or natural resources need their voices heard by those in Washington D.C.
“It says a lot when you have senators like Senator Cruz come and hear us and talk to us about what’s going on," said Jason Harrison, CEO/President of Amarillo Chamber of Commerce.
Issues on the table ranged from inflation to economic uncertainty and labor force. Finding skilled labor who can work a full day's job is getting harder to find.
“They need that additional help if they can’t get it It’s either going to be a delay in getting crops in or you’re going to see farmers and ranchers working overtime as much as they possibly can," said Brice Sheets, incoming chair AG Committee.
“Concerns with the state of the economy but also where we are with the political process," said Josh Winegarner, Texas Cattle Feeders Association. "How we can work together when the people in Washington are paying attention to the issues that are of concern to us in Amarillo and Canyon and the people of the Panhandle.”
“I am proud to stand with the farmers and ranchers of Texas," said Cruz. "We feed Texas and America, the world, we provide jobs and stability and one of the great things about the panhandle is the common-sense conservative values, values that believe in low taxes and low regulations and lots and lots of jobs.”
Senator Cruz addressed the crisis at the border as immigration into Texas is stretching the state’s resources and putting a financial strain on a state known for having a business model of lower taxes and fewer regulations.
“I’ve never seen it this bad," said Cruz. "We’ve had over one million people cross illegally into this country under President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. We're on a path to have over two million people cross just this year. This is the highest rate of illegal immigration in 21 years.”
One thing ag producers were able to take away from this one-hour meet and greet with the senator is the resiliency of the people who live here in the Texas Panhandle.
Following a trip to Amarillo, senator Cruz visited Lubbock where he met with folks in the law enforcement community.