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DEMOCRATS TAKE THE HOUSE, REPUBLICANS INCREASE THEIR SENATE MAJORITY
Agri-Pulse reports:

Big changes are in store for farmers and ranchers in Washington after yesterday's mid-terms. Republicans will have a bigger majority in the Senate, which will make it easier to confirm President Trump's nominees and continue moving the judiciary to the right.

But the Democratic takeover in the House will mean big changes for a range of committees that affect agriculture policy. With the exception of Collin Peterson, who will take over as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, the new Democratic chairmen will be far more progressive than Peterson.

Here are a couple of key takeaways from the election results:

Prospects for new farm bill may improve Farm groups will step up pressure on negotiators to finish a new bill before the end of the year, so the legislation doesn't get kicked to the Democratic House. Peterson has already made clear that he wants the issue off the table when he takes over.
Rural voters matter. Rural areas were huge in the GOP Senate victories in Missouri as well as Indiana and North Dakota.

The president of the Missouri Farm bureau, Blake Hurst, tells Agri-Pulse that Josh Hawley's defeat of Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill was "a tremendous win for rural Missouri." Hurst notes that Hawley won by a 3-1 margin across much of the Bootheel region.

Infrastructure could get new focus. This is one area where President Trump and House Democrats could find common ground. Nancy Pelosi, who expects to become House speaker in January, said last night that infrastructure, including broadband expansion, would be a Democratic priority.


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