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Two new Republicans on House Agriculture

Although turnover is common when the House organizes itself following a general election, changes in committee assignments are infrequent during congressional sessions.

Republican Reps. Troy Balderson of Ohio and Chris Jacobs of New York are newly appointed members of the House Agriculture Committee, announced Rep. Michael Conaway, the GOP leader on the panel, on Thursday. Balderson won his House seat in a special election in 2018. Jacobs, formerly a state senator, won a special election last month in western New York.

Although turnover is common when the House organizes itself following a general election, changes in committee assignments are infrequent during congressional sessions. The number of Republicans and Democrats on a committee is determined by the ratio of how many of the House’s 435 seats are held by each party.

There was room for Balderson and Jacobs on House Agriculture because Rep. James Comer of Kentucky switched to the Oversight and Reform Committee and because of a change in the party ratio. Republican Mike Garcia won a House race in California in May in a district formerly held by a Democrat, and Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey switched parties to become a Republican after voting against the impeachment of President Trump. With two new members, House Republicans qualified for four additional seats on House committees. One of them was on Agriculture, said a Conaway aide.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.

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