Pelham Agee Straughn, Majority Policy Director

Pelham Agee Straughn
National Journal
Jerry Hagstrom
Sept. 18, 2013, 4:30 p.m.

Straughn, the com­mit­tee’s Re­pub­lic­an policy dir­ect­or, is known among lob­by­ists as the po­lite man, the nice man who tries to calm them when staffers reach con­clu­sions they don’t like.

“There needs to be a per­son who brings it all to­geth­er,” said Straughn, 38, who is also the lead GOP staffer for ne­go­ti­ations with the Sen­ate.

In ad­di­tion, he fo­cuses on is­sues that are par­tic­u­larly im­port­ant to com­mit­tee Chair­man Frank Lu­cas, R-Okla., Straughn says.

Straughn grew up the son of a doc­tor in a sub­urb of Birm­ing­ham, Ala. He has spent much of his Hill time on the Ag­ri­cul­ture Com­mit­tee staff, in­clud­ing as an aide to Rep. Bob Good­latte, R-Va., when he was the rank­ing mem­ber. That was dur­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the 2008 farm bill, when Straughn was re­spons­ible for the le­gis­la­tion’s con­ser­va­tion, sug­ar, and pea­nut pro­grams. He also mon­itored the Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment’s im­ple­ment­a­tion of the 2008 bill.

Many mem­bers and aides con­sider the cur­rent farm bill to be toughest in re­cent years be­cause Con­gress wants to cut, rather than add, spend­ing. But Straughn, who has worked on the last three bills, says each is a chal­lenge “in a dif­fer­ent way.”

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