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Scott seeks chairmanship of House Ag Committee

Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., the most senor member of the House Agriculture Committee after Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the chairman of the committee, announced today he will seek the chairmanship of the committee.

Peterson was defeated in his bid for a 16th term on Tuesday.

Scott is chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit.

Rep. David Scott, D-Ga.

“I am proud to announce that I am seeking the chairmanship of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture,” Scott said today in a news release and a letter to his colleagues.

“Today our nation faces perhaps the most significant struggles any of us have seen in our lifetime. Across rural and urban communities and from young to old, the threats posed by global illness, hunger, financial insecurity, climate change, and natural disasters are significant. As our nation’s legislative body, it is the duty of Congress to address, through this committee, the insecurities plaguing our citizens and provide the means for a more fruitful existence.”

In his letter, Scott noted his farm roots in South Carolina, his service on the committee since 2002 and the inclusion of a scholarship program for the 1890s schools in the 2018 farm bill.

He also said that the reaction to climate change must include “transitioning away from fossil fuels toward ethanol and biofuels” and that small and mid-size farmers need help to deal with trade wars and the global pandemic. He also said that nutrition programs must continue to provide low income people healthy food.

Scott represents Georgia’s District 13, which is composed of parts of southern and western Atlanta and several suburbs. The district is only 6.2% rural. The population is about 60% black, 30% white, 10% Hispanic and 3% Asian.

Traditionally, but not always, chairs are selected by seniority. Scott, 75, may have competition from the two members of the House who follow him in rank: Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., and Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio. The selection of any of the three would be a dramatic departure from Peterson, who represents a northwest Minnesota district.

On the Republican side, House Agriculture Committee ranking member Michael Conaway, R-Texas, is retiring. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, R-Pa., who is next in seniority after Conaway, and Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., have both expressed an interest in becoming ranking member in the next Congress.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is also retiring and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., is expected to succeed him. On the Democratic side, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is expected to remain ranking member.

–The Hagstrom Report


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