Ag Groups Reflect On Second Obama Term

Several House, Senate Ag Committee members among returning Congress lineup

Published on: Nov 7, 2012

Though Tuesday's race to the polls ended in a wider margin between the two Presidential candidates than many expected, President Obama emerged with a victory, providing hope for many farm groups that a farm bill can be passed in the lame duck.

A key issue for many farm groups, the farm bill question has remained top-of-mind for most of the summer and the home stretch of the election.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson congratulated the President on his victory, and vowed to continue to press Congress for a new farm bill before Dec. 31.

National Corn Growers President Pam Johnson said her organization looks forward to continuing collaboration with the President and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and "greatly values" the relationship.

Several House, Senate Ag Committee members among returning Congress lineup
Several House, Senate Ag Committee members among returning Congress lineup

The American Soybean Association pointed to improved trade relations and restored budgetary responsibilities as past acheivements of the Obama Administration, and ASA President Steve Wellman says the group is prepared to work with the Administration for the next four years on taxes, trade and biotechnology issues.

"With Democrats continuing to have a majority in the Senate and Republicans continuing to hold a majority in the House, the need for both parties and the President to work to find common ground on the pressing issues important to our country is critical. A hallmark of agricultural policy has always been its bipartisan nature. ASA urges the President as well as members of both the House and Senate return to Washington with a renewed sense of purpose next week, so we can all get back to work serving America’s hard-working families," Wellman said.

American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman echoed the sentiments of ASA's Wellman.

“Farmers and ranchers, like all Americans, have a list of issues that they are relying on the administration and Congress to address," Stallman said. "But we cannot wait until 2013 for the action to start. Serious work on the farm bill, the fiscal cliff and critical tax policy fixes all must start during the lame duck session of the 112th Congress."

CEO of Growth Energy Tom Buis said also that the ethanol industry was supportive of Obama's past efforts on behalf of renewable fuels and looks forward to continued collaboration. He too stressed bipartisan compromise.

"Now that the election is over, Growth Energy is looking forward to working with the President and his administration as well as the current and new Congress in a bipartisan manner to help expand market access for biofuels, such as E15, and to defend the Renewable Fuel Standard," Buis said.

House, Senate Ag Committees Retain Most Members

Growth Energy also congratulated returning and new members of the 113th Congress, including several House and Senate Agriculture Committee members.

Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, will return, as will House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla.

Collin Peterson, D-Minn., House Agriculture Committee ranking member, and Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., House Ag Committee Vice Chairman, will also return. Other notable House Ag Committee members achieving re-election include: Steve King, R-Iowa, Bill Owens, D-N.Y., Jeff Fortenberry, R-Texas, Larry Kissell, D-N.C. Some race results have not been finalized, and more members will return.

Retaining their seats in the Senate Agriculture Committee and joining Stabenow, are Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Robert Casey, D-Penn., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. No Republican members of the Senate Ag Committee faced re-election.