First-term Democrats Peter Welch of Vermont and John Fetterman of Pennsylvania have been named to the Senate Agriculture Committee. 

They will be among seven of 12 Democrats on the committee who weren’t on the panel when Congress passed the 2018 farm bill. The others are Tina Smith of Minnesota, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico and Raphael Warnock of Georgia. 

Welch succeeded Patrick Leahy, who once chaired Agriculture among several other committees. Fetterman won a race to succeed retired Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa.

Debbie Stabenow will continue to chair the committee. Other returning Democrats are Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. 

Democrats will control the committee, 12-11. Republicans have not released their roster, but none of their members in the last Congress left the Senate. The committee was divided 11-11 in the last Congress, reflecting the 50-50 split in the full Senate. 

Congress is due to write a new farm bill this year, and the committee has scheduled four hearings on various titles, starting next Wednesday

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