Mississippi Senator Thad Cochrane was recently selected as the ranking GOP member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, replacing Kansas Senator Pat Roberts.
With the new Congress convening this week, the House and Senate spent January 3 reestablishing their committee leadership. John Boehner, for example, was reelected as Speaker of the House and Debbie Stabenow was confirmed as the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
On the Republican side of the aisle, ag committee leadership received something of a shakeup. Senator Cochrane, asserting his seniority in the Senate, challenged Roberts for his ranking position on the committee.
Rather than provoke an internal fight, Roberts decided to step aside, stating that Cochrane has his full support and that, “seniority is a well-respected and historic privilege in the U.S. Senate.” Roberts also promised to continue being an advocate for Kansas farmers, stating that his position on the Senate Finance Committee would allow him to shape trade policy, especially ag trade policy.
Cochrane released a statement pledging to “use the experiences I’ve gained in serving on the committee since 1979 to help quickly advance a new farm bill that will meet the needs of our country’s farmers, small businesses, and those who rely on the nutrition programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. I look forward to working with [Senator Stabenow].”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer