Friday, November 7, 2008

Capitol Hill Agriculture

US Capitol, Jake Putnam photo


Washington--The 111th Congress will have a new look in January with a Democrat-majority in both the House and Senate. But the leadership in both chambers, including the chairmen of the House and Senate agriculture committees remain the same.

President-elect Obama has started the search for a new Secretary of Agriculture with names like Texas Congressman Charlie Stenholm and the National Farmers Union President Tom Buis to succeed Secretary Ed Schafer.

Once Congress gets back to work and takes care of the countless housekeeping issues they’ll have to deal with a troubled economy says American Farm Bureau’s Mark Maslyn.

“Keep in mind the death tax goes into full repeal 2010 and then it comes back to life in 2011. I think they will try to keep the current law where it is,” said Maslyn. He says the new Congress and President Obama will also look at alternative energies and environmental concerns.

"I think energy will continue to be hot. It’s important to agriculture and it’s important to the economy in the country," Maslyn adds. "Whether its climate change or whether it’s clean water or air quality you’re going to see a continued debate in that area as well as a more aggressive regulatory environment in the new administration.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cleared outoffice space and told staffers to accommodate a transition team representing the Obama Administration USDA Secretary Ed Schafer said today.

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