Rep. David Scott seeks chairman’s seat on House Agriculture Committee

U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, will seek chairmanship of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. AJC file
U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, will seek chairmanship of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. AJC file

Credit: KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC

Credit: KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC

U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, will seek the chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee.

The current chairman, Collin Peterson, D-Minn, lost his reelection bid and won’t be returning. Scott will be the senior Democratic member of the committee and is the chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit.

Scott said in a written statement that growing up on a South Carolina farm and working on the committee for 18 years have prepared him for the job.

The committee is a powerful one that writes the massive Farm Bill, oversees some education scholarships and the food stamp program, contributes funds toward school lunches for poor students and decides how to assist farms hurt by natural disasters and trade fights. Agriculture is still Georgia’s largest single industry, with an annual economic impact of $73 billion.

A fellow Georgian from the other side of the aisle, Rep Austin Scott from Tifton, already announced he will seek to become the ranking Republican on the committee. The two men have had a cordial working relationship.

The positions will be filled in January by inter-party selection processes.

Scott said the pandemic has widened some economic fault lines in rural America, and he wants to address those.

“Even during years of growth, rural economies have lagged behind urban development,” his statement said. "And now, the heavy weight of the virus has fallen on these struggling communities, as access to reliable broadband, education, childcare and medicine are just out of reach. Rebuilding our economy must be inclusive and equitable, incorporating job growth and revitalization to strengthen our nation as a whole.”

Scott’s district spans an area southwest and west of Atlanta that is a mix of small towns, suburban development and rural areas.

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