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Next farm bill likely to shrink in new Congress

DANIEL LOOKER 11/03/2010 @ 3:54pm Business Editor

With more than half of the 28 Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee defeated in Tuesday’s election, the new Republican dominated panel is likely to have a lot of fresh faces.

Farm groups are already paving the way to new members, even though it will be weeks before the makeup of the committee is known. The lame duck session of the Congress still controlled by Democrats starts November 15, when Republicans are expected to choose their next Speaker and other leaders who will then choose heads of committees.

Oklahoma Republican Frank Lucas is expected to run the Ag Committee in the new Congress next year.

In a statement released Wednesday, Lucas said, “After serving on the House Agriculture Committee for 16 years, the last two as Ranking Member, and through the reauthorization of three major farm bills, I hope in the new Republican majority of the next Congress I will have the chance to lead the committee as we focus on the needs of agriculture and rural America.”

Both the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union said Wednesday that they welcome working with the new Congress, and followed a similar theme of offering education.

“As with any new Congress, the American Farm Bureau Federation is looking forward to working with new members to help them better understand agriculture – one of the nation’s most vital industries,” said Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman.

“NFU has a long history as a bipartisan agricultural organization, working with those on both sides of the aisle,” said the group’s president, Roger Johnson. “With a large number of new members of Congress, NFU is focused on education and ensuring that the newly elected members of Congress understand the significance of the issues that rural Americans face.”

Johnson said that many of the Democrats on the House Ag committee had been elected in 2006 or 2008 from rural districts that had been Republican. With those districts swinging back to the GOP Tuesday, “there will probably be more turnover on the Ag Committee than most of the other committees,” he told Agriculture.com.

It’s possible that Republicans from some of the same districts would be the new members of the Ag Committee, he said.

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adam kinzinger/debbie halvorson 11/05/2010 @ 8:45am Debbie Halvorson's replacement, Adam Kinzinger has a lot of family members who farm. Even thought he rode in on the Tea Party, when push comes to shove he's going to have a tough time slashing ag subsidies. His district is very mixed, rural to the south with suburbs to the north so he'll try to keep everybody happy.

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adam kinzinger/debbie halvorson 11/05/2010 @ 8:45am Debbie Halvorson's replacement, Adam Kinzinger has a lot of family members who farm. Even thought he rode in on the Tea Party, when push comes to shove he's going to have a tough time slashing ag subsidies. His district is very mixed, rural to the south with suburbs to the north so he'll try to keep everybody happy.

Report Abuse Reply
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