WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an interview with AgWeb, Rep. Frank Lucas R-Okla., the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, had this to say about his Democratic counterpart, chairman Collin Peterson, Minnesota’s 7th District congressman:
“I think the key always to remember is that the Agriculture committee is one of the most bipartisan or least partisan committees. In my 15 years, I’ve watched chairman Kika de la Garza [D-Texas] and ranking member Pat Roberts [R-Kansas], then Chairman Roberts and ranking member de la Garza; I’ve watched Larry Combest [R-Texas] and Charlie Stenholm [D-Texas]. I’ve watched the kind of relationships that exist between the chairman and the ranking member without regard to party. Always good. Always solid. Always productive. I think that I am developing that kind of relationship with Chairman Peterson. Collin is a good conservative Blue Dog Democrat. I like to kid him that if he lived in the land of the Okies, he’d be a Republican. He rolls his eyes and declines to answer that and I respect that non-response always. But I think we have the makings of a good relationship.
“So far, the things that we’ve worked on I think we’ve worked on together. CFTC reform would be a classic example — an issue that should be and is in my opinion a primary responsibility of the Ag Committee with such an impact on both ag and energy and a variety of industries around the country. That’s one of those areas where the challenge is not so much what we do in the Ag Committee — we passed our measure with a voice vote — it’s what will the Majority leadership do in regard to giving final authority to a committee to put this together. I also serve on Financial Services. Clearly, Chairman Barney Frank [D-Mass.] has the ear of the entire leadership in Congress. This is going to be an example of working with Collin — how we manage to impact the ag perspective.”