New leadership in the House Agriculture Committee looks ahead to the 117th Congress.

Dec 31, 2020  | 3 min  | Ep4620

As the metaphorical ball drops on 2021 it will be out with the old and in with the new.

When the clock strikes twelve on January 3rd, the 116th Congress will be history. During the last hours of the session, the House passed another round of stimulus but as of our taping Thursday afternoon – the call for $2000 in direct payments was stalled in the Senate.

By Wednesday, a new Congress will be sworn in, a run-off election for two U.S. Senate seats -- which will determine the majority -- and the Electoral College certification process occurs.

The margin of majority is the slimmest since the 1940’s and could foster cooperation in passing legislation.

John Torpy reports on the optimism coming from the new ranking member of a committee focused on those providing food and fiber.

 

When the 117th Congress gavels in January 3rd, the House Agriculture Committee’s new minority ranking member will be in a familiar leadership role.With the retirement of Representative Mike Conaway of Texas, the Republican leadership on the House Agriculture committee comes from the Keystone State. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson represents the 15th district of Pennsylvania and will become the ranking minority leader for the committee through 2023.

Rep. Glenn Thompson, R - Pennsylvania: “My vision and goal for the agriculture committee is, is to restore a robust rural economy. And quite frankly, begin to regrow population-wise rural America because without our robust rural America, every American's going to wake up in the cold, dark and hungry.”

Congressman Thompson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. He’s served as chair of House Ag subcommittees and vice-chairman of the full House Ag committee in the 115th Congress. 

Rep. Glenn Thompson, R - Pennsylvania: ”My family lineage where we're mostly all dairy farmers, um, uh, has really contributed to my, I think my passion for agriculture./so I understand the pressures and some insurmountable things that farmers come up against sometimes.”

Thompson notes his previous work on farm legislation helped set the stage for relief aid during the global pandemic.

Rep. Glenn Thompson, R - Pennsylvania: “The last Farm Bill, I actually was the chairman of the subcommittee for nutrition. And so a lot of the things that we had that we fell back on and were able to do for all these folks that were struggling and many continuing to struggling today, a lot of that came out of the 2018 farm bill.”

Thompson says his experience on the House Ag Committee and a slim majority by the Democrats creates a better space for compromise in 2021 and beyond.

Rep. Glenn Thompson, R - Pennsylvania: ”I'm really looking forward to working with the chairman. Um, he's a statesman, a gentlemen, I've served with him on the committee for, uh, well, this will be our 13th year together./ I think, uh, it's interesting. The margins are the smallest margin between parties since World War II. And I think that just creates great opportunity for us to continue to do what we've always done best in agriculture. And that is to work together for the benefit of, of the American families.”

For Market to Market, I’m John Torpy. Producer contact: torpy@iowapbs.org

 

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