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Roberts to Lead Agriculture Committee in 116th Congress; Republican Members Announced

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., has once again been tapped to lead the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, during the 116th Congress. 

“I am honored to be chosen to lead the Agriculture Committee for another two years,” said Chairman Roberts. “We just succeeded in passing the bipartisan, bicameral 2018 Farm Bill, and I look forward to overseeing the Agriculture Department’s implementation.” 

“As I said when I first became Chairman of this Committee in 2015, my first priority is the American farmer and rancher. That laser focus has not changed one bit. We will continue to hold hearings, consider legislation in a fair and transparent manner, and consider nominations.” 

“I’m pleased that Senator Stabenow will also continue her important role in the Agriculture Committee as Ranking Member. Working with Senator Stabenow on past Farm Bills, and various legislation in between, we have proven that we are the least partisan Committee, reaching across the aisle where we can to deliver results for rural America.” 

Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee include:

  • Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
  • John Boozman, Arkansas
  • John Hoeven, North Dakota
  • Joni Ernst, Iowa
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi
  • Mike Braun, Indiana
  • David Perdue, Georgia
  • Chuck Grassley, Iowa
  • John Thune, South Dakota
  • Deb Fischer, Nebraska

“I welcome Senator Mike Braun from Indiana to the Agriculture Committee,” said Chairman Roberts. “I know he is guided by the best interests of his rural constituency and will be a valuable member of the Committee.”                                                                                 

“My goal from day one in the U.S. Senate is to put my real world experience to work finding solutions for Hoosiers, and the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee will be an excellent place to put my skills as a farmer and timber-ground manager to work for Indiana,” said Senator Braun. “Agriculture is the foundation of our state, and I’m excited to get to work and get results for Hoosier farmers on the Ag Committee.” 

Roberts is the only Member of Congress to hold the titles of both Senate and House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Ranking Member. As the House Agriculture Committee Chairman during 1995-1997, then Congressman Roberts led the reform of outdated federal farm policies. He also reformed the federal food stamp program, reducing waste, fraud, and abuse. His advocacy for farmers and ranchers continued in the Senate as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee since 1997. In 2000, he wrote sweeping reforms to the federal crop insurance program. He also has called for a more aggressive U.S. trade policy and has fought to regain access to overseas markets for U.S. beef exports. 

During 2011-2013, Senator Roberts served as the Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. In 2012, with then Chairwoman Stabenow, Roberts passed a Farm Bill through the Committee, which was later approved by the full Senate. 

During 2014-2016, Senator Roberts served as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Under his leadership, the Committee held more than 25 hearings and business meetings, passing bipartisan legislation, including Child Nutrition Reauthorization, Agriculture Biotechnology Disclosure Solution, and the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015. The Committee also passed emergency wildfire legislation and reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, protected the current Farm Bill from changes and cuts, and took action to resolve the Country-of-Origin Labeling trade dispute. 

During 2017-2018, Chairman Roberts authored his second farm bill. Under his leadership, the Agriculture Committee held dozens of hearings, listened to more than 90 witnesses, and received thousands of public comments to develop the 2018 Farm Bill. He shepherded the Farm Bill through the Senate with the most votes ever received by a single farm bill, and it was signed into law on December 20. Roberts also was instrumental in providing more flexibility for harsh and unworkable school meal standards; dismantling the disastrous Obama ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule for a clearer rewrite; rolling back two Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration rules that would’ve dealt a billion dollar blow to American agriculture; and cutting red tape on organic livestock and poultry regulations that would have jeopardized the livelihood of those producers.