Legislative Activity

House Agriculture Committee to Hold Organizational Meeting

On Wednesday, February 1, the House Agriculture Committee will convene for a business meeting to consider, and likely adopt, measures intended to guide and organize the committee during the 115th Congress. During the committee’s formal organizational meeting, members will consider the rules, oversight plan, and staff list for the committee during the 115th Congress.

Earlier this month, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) released the anticipated subcommittees and the members who will serve as chairmen for each subcommittee. The six subcommittees’ names and jurisdictions remain unchanged from the 114th Congress; however, two of the subcommittees will be led by new committee members. Representative Frank Lucas (R-TX), former chairman of the full committee during the 2014 Farm Bill’s enactment, will serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) will serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on Nutrition, which oversees legislation affecting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The remaining four subcommittees will continue to be led by their former chairmen: Representative Austin Scott (R-GA) will lead the Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit; Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR) will chair the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management; Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) will serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research; and Representative David Rouzer (R-NC) will lead the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) recently announced House Democrats who will serve on the committee; however, he has not yet announced which members will serve as ranking members of the committees’ subcommittees.

Chairman Conaway last week announced two notable staff changes to the full committee. Matt Schertz will lead the committee as staff director, replacing longtime Conaway staffer, Scott Graves, and Bart Fischer will serve as deputy staff director and chief economist. Schertz and Fischer are no strangers to agriculture policy, or to the committee. Schertz first joined the House Agriculture Committee in 2002, most recently serving as policy director during the 114th Congress. Fischer began work for the committee in 2011 as its chief economist and continues to be widely known to agriculture staffers across Capitol Hill as the go-to guy for “in the weeds” questions, especially those relating to commodities and risk management.

This Week’s Activity:

  • Wednesday, February 1: The House Agriculture Committee will hold a business meeting to formally organize for the 115th Congress.