With Republicans seizing control of the Senate, committee leadership will shift dramatically in the 114th Congress. The GOP increased its majority in the House by at least 13 – 19 seats and, as a result, there will be committee leadership shuffling in the new Congress.  Not only will there be new  committee chairmen,  the ratios on each of the committees will change as well. However, two committees appear to be settled before the start of the 114th Congress–the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

The Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Pat Roberts (R-KS) is poised to become chairman of that committee when the Republicans take control of the Senate in January.  Roberts, 78, who defeated Greg Orman, a businessman who ran as an independent, will be starting his fourth term in the Senate after serving eight terms in the House. Current Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will now become the ranking member. There will be many new members on the Senate committee with retirements and moves to other committees. The current ratio is 11 in the majority party (Democrats) to 9 in the minority party (Republicans).

The House Agriculture Committee will have a new Chairman from Texas, Mike Conaway, who is completing his 10th term in the House. Conaway is from Midland, Texas, and currently serves on the Agriculture  Committee, as well as Armed Services and Select Intelligence Committees.  Collin Peterson (D-MN) is currently the ranking member and will remain so.  With McIntyre  (D-NC) and McLeod (D-CA) retiring and two, possibly three, members defeated, there will be at least five new Democrats on the committee.  The committee is currently made up of 25 Republicans and 21 Democrats.

Thad Cochran (R-MS) will chair the Senate Appropriations Committee. Cochran previously chaired this committee from 2005-2007. Cochran is currently ranking member of the Agriculture Committee. Barbara Mikulski, current chairman, will assume the ranking member position, when Congress reconvenes January 3.

The House Appropriations Committee will have no changes in leadership. Hal Rogers (R-KY) will keep the chairmanship and Nita Lowey (D-NY) will continue on as ranking member.  With nine members retiring this Congress, there will be many new members on the Committee.

Following are important dates as Congress reconvenes:

  • November 12:  Congress returns
  • November 13:  House and Senate Leadership elections
  • December 6:    Louisiana Runoff
  • December 11:   Continuing Resolution runs out
  • January 3:        114th Congress convenes