House Republican Steering Committee today named Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations. In addition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA, the subcommittee oversees the budgets of the Farm Credit Administration, the Farm Credit System Financial Assistance Corporation, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
"Agriculture is the backbone of Georgia's economy, contributing $65 billion annually and employing one in seven Georgians," said Kingston. "We lead the country in producing peanuts, pecans, watermelons, and broilers. Our sweet Vidalia onions have gained fame across the world. The bounties of our state and our country feed the world and this position will afford me the opportunity to ensure that commonsense prevails in the government's efforts to ensure a safe and abundant food supply."
In addition to traditional agriculture interests, the subcommittee's oversight of the Food and Drug Administration provides Kingston with a leading role in protecting the public health. In addition to assuring the safety of the nation's food supply, the agency monitors the safety, effectiveness and security of a wide range of products from prescription drugs to cosmetics to tobacco products.
The panel also gives Kingston the power of the purse over a centerpiece of the controversial financial market reform enacted last year -- Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Charged with protecting the futures market from fraud, manipulation, and abused practices, the Commission once oversaw a futures market focused primarily on agriculture. Today it oversees a market with large interests in the energy and financial futures.
"I appreciate the confidence placed in me as I assume this role and I look forward to a busy year of rigorous oversight," Kingston said. "Over the years, this subcommittee has had a good bipartisan dialogue and I hope that will continue as we face the challenges of the coming year. In all that we do, the focus of this subcommittee will be to ensure that we are good stewards of taxpayer dollars."