Roberts to be Ranking GOP Member on Senate Ag Committee

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is expected to move into the ranking member spot on the Senate Agriculture Committee as more reports are stating that Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will take over as ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday that was his understanding of what was happening.

“All I can tell you is late last week is that was what Pat Roberts told me he was going to be the ranking (member). I think that’s going to be very good for Midwestern agriculture,” Grassley said. “I’d say that you know when you have people from the South totally in agriculture sometimes I think Midwestern interests get left out. In this particular case I think Pat Roberts reinforces the Midwestern interests at the agricultural table, very much so.”
Roberts is a strong defender of direct payments, having effectively creating the program as House Agriculture Committee chairman for the 1996 farm bill. Wheat growers in his state are big backers of the program so shifting from Chambliss to Roberts as ranking member likely doesn’t create a huge ripple effect in policy shifts, at least in that regard.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., will be chairman of the committee.