Re: Sen. Lincoln and the Ag Committee chair.
But is it good for America? Brad Johnson notes that Lincoln is a very strident opponent of climate change legislation, calling even the post-Collin Peterson version of the legislation a “total non-starter.” And the left will have basically no leverage over her; she’s at real risk of losing her seat to a Republican, and Barack Obama is very unpopular in Arkansas. That said, the alternative to this scenario was Tim Johnson heading up Banking, so this is arguably a superior outcome. In terms of core agriculture policy issues, switching from Harkin at the top to Lincoln at the top will probably mostly make things bad in a different way. Policy less oriented toward the interests of people who grow corn, and more oriented toward the interests of Tyson Foods—purveyors of fine fast food chicken products. [More]
It pops into mind that Big Ethanol may be less than enthused as well.
Rice and cotton interests (or what remains of them) are happy.
A rice farmer’s daughter, she is the first woman to ever chair the panel. And together with ranking Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, she will head the first all-South Agriculture leadership team since Sens. Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.) and Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) ruled the roost in the 96th Congress 30 years ago.
Lincoln denied any lasting imbalance, saying that the committee has always worked across party lines to resolve these differences. But the Lincoln-Chambliss team will pose a real challenge for the White House if the Obama administration persists in trying to reopen last year’s farm bill to achieve greater savings. [More]
Even with payment-limit opponents in these key positions, I wonder how agriculture will escape cuts if Republicans continue to make deficits their key battle cry.