Sen. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) has accepted the chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, replacing Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa) who will succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
"With such priorities as child nutrition reauthorization, Farm Bill implementation and regulation of commodities, the committee has a full plate," Lincoln said in a statement.
Lincoln, serving her second term, is the first woman to head the agriculture committee, a committee she has been on since joining the Senate in 1998.
Lincoln was a staunch defender of farm subsidies during the drafting of the 2008 Farm Bill and warned the Obama administration against tampering with agreements negotiated last year (2008 Farm Bill) and blessed by a large Senate vote on passage.
"It's important that we follow through with implementing what we pass," she told reporters. "I thought it was well-defined in the bill. If [the agriculture department is] confused about what our intent was, they should work with us."
Reprinted in part from Politico.com