Goodlatte Elected Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee: "The Work of the Committee Affects the Lives of Every American"... Goodlatte says

Jan 8, 2003

"The Work of the Committee Affects the Lives of Every American"... Goodlatte says

WASHINGTON, DC-Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-06) today was elected by the House Republican Conference to serve as Chairman of the full House Agriculture Committee.

"I am honored to have been chosen to serve in this position of leadership," Goodlatte said. "The work of the Agriculture Committee affects the lives of every American. Just in the last session of Congress we addressed a wide number of issues ranging from bioterrorism and homeland security to food stamps and welfare reform, from conservation and nutrition to forest management, trade and rural development. Perhaps the most important work of the Agriculture Committee consists of maintaining policies which assure a safe, abundant and affordable food supply which is indeed the marvel of the world," Goodlatte said.

"Bob's proven track record on the Agriculture Committee is a sure sign that he will effectively and efficiently oversee the work of the House in setting agriculture policy," said Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

Goodlatte served previously as Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry. He was an active subcommittee chairman, holding fourteen hearings in the 107th Congress alone.

A vacancy in the full committee chairmanship arose when Rep. Larry Combest (R-TX) announced that he was retiring from the House of Representatives effective May 2003, and would not seek reelection in January as Chairman of the Committee in the interim months preceding his retirement.

Earlier this week, a 29 member Republican Steering Committee, primarily composed of Republican House leadership, interviewed Goodlatte and others for the chairmanship. Today, the Steering Committee voted and then made their recommendation to the House Republican Conference, which is composed of all Republican Members of the House of Representatives. The Republican Conference later voted on a slate of chairmen, which included Goodlatte.

"I am pleased that the House Republican Conference has wisely chosen Bob Goodlatte to assume the gavel as the next Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. Bob has been a leader on a variety of issues and today he ascends to a leadership post that will allow him to bring his vision and energy to a committee that deals with issues of importance to all Americans," stated House Majority Whip Roy Blunt.

Goodlatte represents a heavily agricultural district. Virginia produces a diverse array of commodities including livestock, fruit and vegetables among them corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, barley, oats, wheat, dairy, minor oilseeds, peanuts, cotton and tobacco. Goodlatte becomes the first House Agriculture Committee Chairman from Virginia since John Flannagan who served as Chairman from 1945 to 1947.

"I look forward to assuming this position, and to giving agriculture and rural America fair representation and bold leadership in Congress," Goodlatte said.

Goodlatte, age 50, was elected to serve as the Sixth District's Congressman in November of 1992. The campaign was his first attempt at public office. He was reelected to his sixth term in November of 2002.

He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Government was earned at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Before being elected to Congress, Goodlatte served as former Congressman Caldwell Butler's District Office Manager from 1977 to 1979, where he was responsible for helping folks across the Sixth Congressional District. In 1979, he founded his own private law practice in Roanoke. He was a partner in the law firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman, working there from 1981 until taking office.

In addition to being elected Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Goodlatte also currently serves on the Judiciary Committee and Education and the Workforce Committee. Goodlatte is also the co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and Chairman of the House Republican High Tech Working Group.