Nov. 3, 2010 /EIN Presswire/ — In one of the biggest upheavals affecting Congressional agriculture policy in many years, Tuesday’s election results will bring a host of new faces to both U.S. House and Senate Committees.
The biggest change will come in the House where Republicans will gain the majority and Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas is in line to take the gavel from Colin Peterson. Peterson won re-election in Minnesota and will likely remain on the committee as ranking minority member.
Fourteen members of the House Agriculture Committee lost their seats in Tuesday’s voting, including veterans Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota.
With the defeat of Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, it appears that Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow is in line to take over the Senate Committee. Senators Max Baucus, Kent Conrad and Patrick Leahy have more seniority, but they chair other committees and are not likely to give them up.
The new line-up of committee members will need to address a new food safety bill that the House passed earlier this year but which has been languishing in the Senate.
Looking ahead, the committees will begin work next year on the 2012 farm bill. This could be a contentious fight given the pressures to cut government spending. Longtime subsidies to sugar, corn and other commodities will be big targets for budget cutters.
For more agriculture news, visit Agriculture Industry Today (http://agriculture.einnews.com), an agriculture media monitoring service from EIN News.