Sen. Jerry Moran to chair Senate Ariculture Appropriations Subcommittee | TSLN.com

Sen. Jerry Moran to chair Senate Ariculture Appropriations Subcommittee

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., will chair the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced Wednesday.

Moran's appointment to chair Ag Approps means that both major centers of agricultural policymaking in the Senate will be controlled by Kansans, since Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., has already been elected chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Moran's appointment is also a major boost to the Midwest and the Plains states, which have lost representation on the House Agriculture Committee as members from some of those states have chosen other committee assignments.

Cochran's position as chairman of the full committee also means that agriculture's voice will be strong on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Moran has also supported easing agricultural sales to Cuba, and his appointment will make it harder for opponents of easing trade with Cuba to use Appropriations as a way to stop President Barack Obama's plans to re-establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba.

In a statement, Moran said, "Farmers and ranchers provide the food, fuel and fiber for our growing world and are the economic drivers of communities and local businesses across Kansas."

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"Regardless of our job or where we live, agriculture matters to all of us," Moran said.

"As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee, I welcome the opportunity to focus on investing in policies that are vital to Kansas farmers and ranchers, such as agriculture research and extension and farm bill implementation," he said.

"Additionally, through the subcommittee's jurisdiction over the FDA budget, I will work to advance public health innovations, including development of new medicines, medical devices and food safety technology. It is also critical that as responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars we take a hard look at spending in areas of government that aren't working, and many times even harmful to rural America."

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who was the ranking member on Senate Ag Approps in the last Congress, will chair the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, Cochran also announced.

Blunt tweeted Wednesday that he expects to remain on the Agriculture and Defense appropriations subcommittees.

Cochran also announced several other subcommittee chairmanships important to agriculture and rural America:

-Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee

-Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee

-Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee

"We are beyond excited that Sen. Moran has earned this key leadership position on agricultural issues in the U.S. Senate," said Kansas Farm Bureau President and Montgomery County farmer Richard Felts. "Sen. Moran has always been a champion for farmers and ranchers, and we look forward to his continued strong leadership on behalf of agriculture and rural Kansas."

Before being elected to the Senate, Moran served for 14 years on the House Agriculture Committee, including as chairman of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

–The Hagstrom Report