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Iowa’s Harkin remains chair Senate ag

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin will remain as chairman of the Agriculture Committee when the Senate reorganizes in January, Democratic leaders said last month.

Harkin was Agriculture chairman during passage of the 2002 and 2008 farm laws. He backed a provision in the 2002 law that rewards stewardship of “working” farmland and in the 2008 law to protect farmer income from low prices and poor yields.

Two other members of the Agriculture Committee will be chairmen, according to a list unveiled by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Max Baucus of Montana will return as chairman of the Finance Committee and Kent Conrad will be chairman of the Budget Committee.

Republicans will select their committee leaders later, according to a spokesman.

In the House, Collin Peterson, Minnesota Democrat, will have another term as Agriculture Committee chairman. Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas will be the Republican leader on the panel.

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