Kansas regains seat on House agricultural committee
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas doctor who ousted former U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp in the Republican primary has regained for the state a seat on the House Agriculture Committee.
U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall was selected Wednesday to serve on the House ag committee, fulfilling a campaign pledge that helped get the Republican newcomer elected in his primarily agriculture-focused district.
Huelskamp, a tea party favorite who was a thorn in national GOP leaders' sides, was booted off the ag committee in 2012, leaving Kansas without representation on it for the first time in a century. Farm groups then turned against him and endorsed Marshall, and voters in the sprawling 1st Congressional District, which spans much of western and central Kansas, saw the loss of the seat as a crucial voting issue.
The agriculture committee will help shape the next farm bill and will take up trade issues important to farmers.
"We committed to getting the Big 1st a seat back on the Ag Committee, Marshall said in a news release. "I'm proud to be able to say today that we have delivered on that promise."
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, said that Marshall will be key to the consideration of the next farm bill.
"I am glad to have him in the House riding shotgun for Kansas farmers and ranchers," Roberts said.
Kansas Farm Bureau President Richard Felts noted the district is the among the largest agricultural-producing congressional districts in the nation, and said his group looks forward to working with Marshall and the committee to advance the interests of farmers, ranchers and rural Americans.
Kansas Livestock Association CEO Matt Teagarden said the appointment could not come at a more important time as Congress "deals with serious issues including onerous regulations and a new Farm Bill."