Democratic leadership confirms Peterson to remain top Dem on Ag panel

WASHINGTON — File this one under expected but now confirmed.

Rep. Collin Peterson will remain the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee when the 112th Congress convenes in January, a top Democratic aide confirmed today.

Peterson’s name wasn’t among a handful of ranking members confirmed by the House Democratic caucus this week, so I inquired as to whether there had somehow become a question on that point. The answer: No change in plans; Peterson will return as expected and the announcement be made officially when Dems vote on the rest of the committee leaders next week.

As ranking member of the Agriculture Committee, Peterson will be a key player in drafting the 2012 Farm Bill, which the panel under his leadership had already begun field hearings on. Though Peterson had pushed to do the bill in 2011, Republicans are thought to prefer to move it in 2012.

Republicans announced earlier this week that Rep. John Kline had been selected to chair the Education and Labor Committee.

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