House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee

Once the deck gets reshuffled in the new Congress for the full committee, something could happen to create a vacancy on the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee, but no changes result from Election Day per se. All 11 members, including Tom Latham (R-IA-3) who was in a close contest with Agriculture Committee member Leonard Boswell (D-IA-3) in a race between incumbents, will be returning. At this point in time, it seems likely that Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) and Sam Farr (D-CA-20) will be back as chair and ranking member, respectively.

Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee

The big change for Senate Agriculture Appropriations will be the retirement of the Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI). In contention to take that job in the next Congress is Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD). The only other definite change is the loss of retiring Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) on the majority side.

With at least two Democratic seats on the Committee open, Senator Jon Tester, victorious in his re-election race against Representative Dennis Rehberg (R-MT) yesterday, would be a likely addition to the subcommittee. He is already an appropriator, but not currently on the agriculture subcommittee.

Whether Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who won election to the seat currently held by Kohl, would become an appropriator in the Senate remains to be seen. She is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as a Representative.

Also a wild card for Senate Appropriations is whether full committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS), who is also a member of the agriculture subcommittee and a former chair of the authorizing Agriculture Committee, will step down from that position or get a waiver from the term limits for that position which expire for him in December.  If forced to step down, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is next in line.  If that happens, it would be possible for Senator Cochran to reclaim the top Republican position on the Agriculture Committee if he were so inclined.