North Dakota's congressman-elect focuses on Farm Bill as he prepares for new post

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- North Dakota’s soon-to-be at-large representative is touring Capitol Hill this week. Republican Kelly Armstrong is considering his priorities as he assumes his new post.

“The new level of security is interesting and so...but we’re having fun and we’re ready to go to work,” said Armstrong.

That work will not begin until the New Year, but the North Dakota State Senator and state Republican Party Chairman is already thinking about how he will make his impact in Washington. He has a list of priorities, but one is at the top of the list.

“It’s got to be a Farm Bill for us. It’s got to be right now,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong says he hopes the current Congress passes the new Farm Bill before the end of the year. If it fails to do so, he says he is prepared to work on it when he takes office. Armstrong will enter in the minority with Democrats winning control of the House during the November 6 election.

Armstrong says he is willing to work across the aisle on things like transportation, trade and agriculture. On some issues he will not budge.

“Tax increases are a non-starter for me. Gun control is a non-starter for me,” said Armstrong.

Gun control is a topic yet again in the spotlight following mass shootings in Pittsburgh and Thousand Oaks. He says no version of gun control is on the table for him.

Armstrong says he hopes to land on the Agriculture Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. The next Minority Leader will determine Armstrong’s fate. He hopes that person is Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is second in line behind outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).

“They can put me wherever they want. I’m still going to do the work,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong will be sworn in with the rest of the freshman class the first week of January.