Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Senate Ag Cmte Chair

Likely Agriculture Committee Chair Lincoln Will Be Tougher Sell on Climate Legislation
By Kate Sheppard 9/9/09 9:50 AM

With Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) apparently assuming the chairmanship of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, moderate Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln is set to take over as chair of the Agriculture Committee.

The shift would have the most significant impact on the Senate’s pending climate legislation, as the Ag Committee is expected to shape the offset and agricultural provisions. While Harkin has been supportive of Senate action on climate legislation, Lincoln has been less than enthusiastic.

Lincoln has called for a delay on climate legislation until 2010, arguing that it would be too difficult for the Senate to move both health care and a climate and energy bill this year. “The problem of doing both of them together is that it becomes too big of a lift,” Lincoln said last month. Though the Senate could move energy legislation, she said, “I see the cap-and-trade being a real problem.” Read More

With so many issues involving agriculture and the ability to produce food being debated in Congress, it’s vital that farmers and ranchers stay informed. Sen. Lincoln appears to be our new Senate Ag Committee Chair. It’s encouraging to hear that she realizes that there are serious problems with the climate change legislation being proposed. As always, the involvement of all of us will be needed to make sure agriculture and our country isn’t harmed by this bill.

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