David Perdue gets desired Agriculture committee slot

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senate freshman David Perdue will keep Georgia's decades-long tradition of holding a slot on the Senate Agriculture Committee, one of five committees Perdue will sit on next year.

Senate Republicans' announcement of committee positions today also showed soon-to-be senior senator Johnny Isakson atop the Veterans Affairs and Ethics committees, though the committee members still must confirm his expected pair of chairmanships for the 114th Congress.

Isakson's ascension was long-diagrammed: North Carolina's Richard Burr was ahead of him in seniority on Veterans Affairs, but Burr is to take over the Senate Intelligence Committee chairmanship.

Perdue said during the campaign that he wanted Agriculture, which is Georgia's largest industry. Retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss once chaired the committee, which -- aside from a six-year hiatus in the 1980s -- has had a Georgian serving on it since 1957.

Perdue's desire to follow Chambliss' footsteps onto the Armed Services Committee did not come to pass. So 2015 will be the first year since 1972 -- before Sam Nunn was elected -- that Georgia was not represented on the committee.

Perdue also will serve on the Budget Committee -- befitting his overriding interest in fiscal issues -- Foreign Relations, Judiciary and the Special Committee on Aging.

In addition to his two chairmanships, Isakson holds spots on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; Foreign Relations and the tax-writing Finance Committee.

Here's what Perdue had to say, via a prepared statement, about his assignments:

"Georgia has a long tradition of representation on the Senate Agriculture Committee. I am humbled and honored to serve in this capacity. Agriculture is a strategic industry, not only for Georgia but for our nation, and I will work to keep it growing. I want to help Georgia’s farmers continue to produce and sell Georgia grown products and ensure that we remain an agricultural leader in the future. ...

"Economic security is the foundation for a strong national security and smart foreign policy. I will work with my colleagues on the Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees to ensure that America is capable of protecting our freedoms here at home and supporting our allies around the world. ...

"Our full blown fiscal crisis is what pulled me into the Senate. I will work every day to make a difference and fight for the future of our kids and grand kids. I will act with urgency on the Budget Committee to tackle our nation's debt crisis. I look forward to bringing my business experience to the Senate to help advance commonsense solutions, reduce our dangerous level of debt, grow our economy, and balance the budget in Washington."

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