Stenholm said he was extremely disappointed when Congress left town with the arrival of the New Year, without passing a full five-year farm bill, despite the fact the full Senate had a bill, and the House Agriculture Committee also had a bill that satisfied budget cuts.
"For the first time in my lifetime, the Speaker of the House would not bring a farm bill to the House floor for a vote," Stenholm lamented.
He called the work by Congress "pathetic" and said Members of Congress aren't even willing to stay in Washington to conduct business vital to the nation.
"It's scandalous the Senate hasn't passed a budget in the last four years—that's ridiculous!" Stenholm decried.
Meanwhile, the nation is in terrible debt, he said.
"We (U.S.) now owe 16-and-a-half trillion dollars, and by the next four years, it could be 20 trillion," Stenholm said.
He noted that is leaving an unthinkable debt to children and grandchildren.
"You simply can't borrow as much money as we've been borrowing over the past 12 years," he said.
The veteran Washington lobbyist said water will remain a huge issue after years of horrific drought in Texas, and noted 120 Texas communities currently have less than a 180-day supply of water.
On energy, Stenholm said hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" to capture oil previously unreachable, is a "game changer for America" and the U.S. could be self-sufficient in 4 to 5 years.