Pelosi releases names of new House ag appointees |

Pelosi releases names of new House ag appointees

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., late Wednesday released a list of 14 new Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee and three Democrats who have won seats on the committee despite the fact that they also serve on what are regarded as more important committees.

The names of most re-elected members who will join the committee has not been released yet, but a spokesman for House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said it may be released today.

The Peterson spokesman said the three members Pelosi included in her list who already serve on the committee — Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Al Lawson of Florida and Jimmy Panetta of California — were on the list because they were “waived” onto the committee despite their membership on other committees. They will rank lower in seniority than if agriculture was their primary committee, the spokesman said.

Panetta said in a news release, “As the proud representative of the ‘Salad Bowl of the World,’ I am honored to have the opportunity to continue my service on the House Agriculture Committee.

“One of my proudest achievements during my first term was passing the bipartisan 2018 farm bill. This legislation fulfills a promise to support our farmers, rural communities and neighbors. I helped craft a farm bill that promotes our specialty crop and organic sectors, expands opportunities for beginning farmers, invests in agricultural research, increases access to nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables and protects nutrition assistance benefits.

“During the 116th Congress, I will continue to work on this committee to advance priorities for Central Coast growers, shippers, farmworkers and families, and to make sure that the farm bill is implemented as Congress intended.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, noted in a news release today that she had served on the committee from 2009 to 2012 before joining the House Appropriations Committee and the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.

“I’m thrilled to regain my seat on the House Agriculture Committee where I can directly shape policies that make our food system better for farmers, consumers and the environment,” said Pingree.

“Being the only organic farmer on the committee, with years of experience in how policies affect farmers on the ground, also gives me an important perspective to share. I know how tough it is to be a farmer — and it’s not getting any easier. Whether it’s extreme weather or shifting consumer demands, there are so many challenges that farmers have to take in account these days.”

“As we implement the recently passed farm bill — which includes many reforms I fought for — I’m excited to dig into my work on the Agriculture Committee,” Pingree continued.

“I also want to make sure that farmers are represented in the discussions Congress will have about combating climate change. I look forward to highlighting farmers’ success stories around reducing food waste, promoting on-farm energy production, and supporting practices that sequester more carbon in the soil.”

A spokeswoman for House Agriculture Committee ranking member Michael Conaway, R-Texas, said the list of Republican members of the committee should be released shortly.

The new Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee are:

▪ Rep. Cindy Axne of Iowa

▪ Rep. Anthony Brindisi of New York

▪ Rep. Salud Carbajal of California

▪ Rep. TJ Cox of California

▪ Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota

▪ Rep. Antonio Delgado of New York

▪ Rep. Josh Harder of California

▪ Rep. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut

▪ Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona

▪ Rep. Tom O’Halleran of Arizona

▪ Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine

▪ Rep. Kim Schrier of Washington

▪ Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia

▪ Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey

Returning Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee who also serve on other “A list” committees are:

▪ Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois

▪ Rep. Al Lawson of Florida

▪ Rep. Jimmy Panetta of California