New House leadership selected
On Dec. 2-3, new House Committee leadership was selected for several different committees, including agriculture, natural resources and energy and commerce, on the 117th Congress.
“This is an important part of each new Congress and can set the tone for legislation and hearings over the next two years,” wrote the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in a news release.
During an episode of NCBA’s Beltway Beef podcast Tanner Beymer, director of government affairs and market regulatory policy at NCBA, stated, “This was a whirlwind election in that there were a lot of high-ranking members of both chambers and both parties who retired or lost their re-election bid. Therefore, there will be a lot of new faces in committee leadership in both chambers.”
Rep. David Scott (D-GA) was approved by the Democratic Caucus to serve as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees legislation relating to U.S. agriculture, forestry, nutrition and rural development.
Scott has served as a member of Congress and the House Agriculture Committee since 2003. In various leadership roles on the committee, Scott has chaired subcommittees on commodity exchanges, energy and credit as well as livestock and foreign agriculture.
“Scott is a phenomenal lawmaker, he always has an open door policy, and we have had a great relationship with him for a number of years,” said Beymer. “He was a tremendous selection by the Democratic Caucus to lead this committee as we move into the next Congress and soon start negotiations on another farm bill.”
“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee,” said Scott. “I was born on my grandparents’ farm in rural Aynor, S.C., during the days of segregation and the hardships, of those, on whose shoulders I now stand.”
“I owe this historic selection as the first African American chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to a diverse coalition of members from across our nation. And, I will use this critical opportunity to represent the values of our entire caucus and advance our priorities for trade, disaster aid, climate change, sustainable agriculture, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, crop insurance, small family farms, specialty crops and rural broadband,” Scott continued.
A new ag ranking member
On the other side of the ledger, G.T. Thompson (R-PA) was selected by the Republican Conference to succeed now retired Ranking Member Mike Conaway.
“Ranking Member Thompson is equally supportive of our association and really understands what needs to be done to take America’s agriculture industry to the next level,” Beymer stated, further noting Thompson’s leadership skills and commitment to speaking up have led him to be the most frequent speaker on the House floor for the past seven years.
“NCBA looks forward to seeing what Scott and Thompson will accomplish in this next Congress,” Beymer said.
House Natural Resources Committee
In addition to the agriculture committee, new leadership was also selected for the House Natural Resources Committee.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodger (R-WA) was selected by the Republican Conference as ranking member for the committee.
According to the Republican Conference, Rodgers has served as chair of the House Republican Conference for six years and is currently the co-chair of the Rural Health Caucus, where she advocates for better access to affordable and quality health care services in the nation’s rural communities.
Chair Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) was reappointed by the Democratic Caucus for the House Natural Resources Committee.
House Energy and Commerce Committee
In the House Energy and Commerce Committee, established in 1795 to regulate interstate and foreign commerce, Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) was selected by the Republican Conference as the new ranking member.
Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) was unanimously reappointed by the Democratic Caucus for the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the 117th Congress.
Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.