WASHINGTON – Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 6, which formally elects him as the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee for the 112th Congress:
"As a student of agriculture economics, a rancher by trade, and a member of this committee from the start of my service in Congress, I am honored to have this opportunity and responsibility. I am also proud to be serving as the first Chairman of the Agriculture Committee from Oklahoma. I will continue to use my experience and perspective as a producer to help shape our nation’s agriculture policy.
"We have our challenges ahead. We must work our way out of this budget mess and rein in wasteful spending.
"But, we also have opportunities for economic growth. We must implement the three pending free trade agreements with Korea, Panama, and Colombia. And, we must encourage the administration to act on opening up other trade opportunities overseas for our farmers and ranchers. Foreign markets are critical to the economic viability of rural America.
"It is imperative we prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing standards which would cripple American agriculture and stifle economic growth in rural communities.
"The work of the Agriculture Commitee, including reauthorizing the farm bill in 2012, affects every American; ensuring that our farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to produce an abundant and affordable food and fiber supply is as important to our country as national defense.
"I look forward to working with Ranking Member Collin Peterson and the other Members of our Committee as we move forward to ensure the health and vitality of production agriculture and rural economies."