Moran: Ag priorities remain a constant

Regardless of who takes the Oval Office on Jan. 20, 2021, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, said Washington’s policies need to match agriculture’s needs and it comes at a time as the country may soon have a new president.

Moran, who spoke at a Veterans Day event in Bucklin, Kansas, on Nov. 11, discussed the close race between President Donald J. Trump, who is challenging the results after Democratic challenger Joe Biden appears to have secured 270 electoral college votes.

Agriculture and rural development issues, regardless if it is Trump or Biden, must be front and center, Moran said.

“We have our work cut out for us particularly with agriculture and rural America issues. We have to make sure that good things that were done under the Trump administration are not undone by a Biden administration,” Moran said.

Trump worked hard on fairer trade deals, getting tough on the Chinese, and his administration was able to roll back many unpopular environmental regulations, Moran said.

If the election results hold, then Biden will have the opportunity to surround himself with people who will carry out his policies. It will be important to make sure that key agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are led by people who can demonstrate they work with farmers and ranchers.

The confirmation process will mean those positions are likely going to have to be people who are closer to the center on policies, particularly if the Republicans can hold onto control of the Senate, he said.

The Senate confirms appointees and those men and women are ones who carry out policies.

The senator said Congress will soon begin working on a new farm bill. With the retirement of U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Moran expects Kansas to have a senator on that committee. Because of Congressman Roger Marshall’s experience, he expects the incoming senator to be sought for the Senate panel.

As of now, Moran plans to continue his role on a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. That role allows him to have considerable input and oversight into agricultural programs.

Moran, 66, is also expected to file for re-election for a third term in 2022. Moran was first elected to the Senate in 2010 after serving 14 years in the First District of Kansas and was a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].