U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today made the following statement regarding his service as ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry:
"Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is going to assert his seniority on the Ag Committee and will become the ranking member," Roberts said. "Seniority is a well-respected and historic privilege in the U.S. Senate. Senator Cochran has my full support, and I will move his nomination when I bring the committee together for a vote later today. I expect it to be unanimous.
"Rest assured, I will remain a strong and vocal champion for agriculture as a senior member of the committee. I will retain my Finance Committee seat and as a senior member of this committee, I am able to affect trade policy, especially ag trade, tax reform, and rural health care.
"This action today allows me to assert my seniority as the ranking member of the Rules Committee. This committee will become increasingly important as I expect to play a very vigorous role in defense of minority rights,which are under attack by the Democrat Majority Leader, as well as top line issues like campaign finance reform and federal election law.
"No matter whether I hold the gavel, or whether I am the ranking member or whether I am a senior member, agriculture has always been a top priority of my efforts in public service. Nothing will change that. My message to Kansas farmers and ranchers is that I will continue to be your voice and your champion at every turn."
"I wish Senator Cochran the best in his new position and will work with him and his staff to ensure a smooth transition on the committee. I look forward to working closely with Senator Cochran in this new congress to pass a five year farm bill that benefits producers, consumers and the taxpayer."
Senator Roberts remains a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.