Randy Neugebauer - A Day on Capitol Hill - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/31/04

Randy Neugebauer - A Day on Capitol Hill

A day on The Hill. Congressman Randy Neugebauer starts with a 9:00 a.m. staff meeting. There's discussion about remarks he'll make later in the day when he speaks on the floor of the House in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment.

"This amendment is about letting the people decide and not about letting judges decide what is the definition of a traditional marriage," he says.

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45 minutes later, members of the Plains Cotton Growers arrive. The topics of discussion include the WTO and disaster relief. Specifics are kept behind closed doors.

At 10:25, the congressman leaves his office for some campaign work. A radio interview with KWKC in Abilene.

"Abilene is an important city in the district," he says.

At 11:15, the congressman carves out some time for NewsChannel 11. We ask him if there's any substance to the rumor that Charlie Stenholm personally chastised him for his negative campaign ads.

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"You know, I think private conversations that Mr. Stenholm and I have are best kept between the two of us," he says.

At 12:30, the congressman poses for pictures on the steps of the capitol with interns from Texas Tech University. After lunch, it's time for more media. Neugebauer prepares to tape interviews which will be satellite-fed back to Lubbock. The topic? Marriage protection.

"This amendment is really about what the best environment is to raise our children, and what we do know is that the best environment for that is a traditional marriage between one man and one woman," he says.

At 1:15, he heads to the ag committee, of which he is a member, as is Congressman Charlie Stenholm. Two rivals separated by just 25 feet and a mask of civility. At issue under the chandelier? Changes to the farm bill.

"This amendment concerns me deeply that we would provide an avenue here to reopen a farm bill. A farm bill that was worked very hard on, and has provided a framework for producers all over America to operate under for a six year period, and I think it would be a dangerous precedent for us to begin to reopen and negotiate parts of this. I think the appropriate time is going to be when we reauthorize the farm bill," he says.

Just after 2:00, he leaves the ag committee to head for the capitol. The day's main event is at hand. At 2:54, he's on C-Span.

"It could be called the child protection amendment because it's the best environment for our children's future," he says.

Over the next two hours, he will meet with and call several constituents. He will also respond to a letter from a 15 year-old boy.

"His name is Justin," he says, "'I'd like to thank you for your conservative stance on marriage and your fight against the legalization of gay marriage.'"

At 5:10, he heads back to The Hill.

"Let's go vote," he says.

It's do or die for the Marriage Protection Amendment. When the final vote is tallied, it fails to garner the required two-thirds necessary to pass.

At 5:48, there's a press conference.

"I think it's important to point out that 186 members of Congress today voted not to let the American people have a say so in what the definition of a marriage is," he says.

Just after 6:00, Neugebauer bids farewell to another day on Capitol Hill.

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