First-Ever Woman Senate Ag Committee Chair?

September 3, 2009 07:00 PM

Dairy Today Editors

The U.S. Senate could see its first-ever woman Agriculture Committee chairman, as a result of the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D- Mass.).

When the Senate returns to work next Tuesday after its August recess, it will need to fill the now vacant Kennedy chairmanship of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has chaired this committee during Kennedy's illness. If Dodd chooses to stay at HELP, he would have to give up his chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee, opening up that spot to Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.).

But if Dodd retains his Banking Committee chair, Sen. Tom Harkin could take the HELP chair, which would leave the Senate Ag Committee chairmanship open to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.). She would then become the first woman to chair the Senate Ag Committee, reports the National Milk Producers Federation.


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