WASHINGTON â€” Rep. Frank Lucas was confirmed on Wednesday as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in the next Congress. He will be the first Oklahoman to head the panel that helps shape the nation's farm policy.
Lucas, R-Cheyenne, a farmer and rancher who has served on the committee since first coming to Congress in 1994, promised to be a â€œstrong voice for production agriculture and rural America.â€ And he pledged to police the regulatory agencies that have an impact on farming and ranching.
Lucas, 50, has been the top Republican on the Agriculture Committee since 2009; House Republicans confirmed him as the chairman on Wednesday for the Congress that begins in January, when the GOP will control the House.
â€œAs a lifelong farmer from a diverse, agricultural state, I have lived the real world challenges farmers and ranchers face across the country,â€ Lucas said.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, called Lucas â€œthe most powerful memberâ€ of Oklahoma's five-person House delegation and â€œprobably the most influential since the late 1970s.â€ The post, he said, was recognition of Lucas' hard work and expertise.