Schertz and Fischer work together so closely on commodity policy for the committee that they have joked that they should have a joint e-mail account under the name “Bert.”
After they took their boss, committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., out for dinner last year in Texas, he nicknamed them “the barbecue twins.”
This close working relationship, which annoys lobbyists who disagree with them on policy, began in 2003 when Schertz was the committee’s intern coordinator and found Fischer, one of that summer’s interns, to be “bright and bold.” But in reality there was already a lot in common in their backgrounds.
Schertz, 39, a senior Republican staffer on the committee, grew up on a farm in south Texas. He went to Texas Tech in Lubbock on a livestock-judging scholarship and, taking a clue from his father, a government-relations executive for a public electric utility, interned summers for both Republican and Democratic state legislators in Austin.
Schertz started graduate school in 2002 and came to Washington for an internship with the House Agriculture Committee chairman. Except for a four-year stint in the private sector, he has stayed on the Hill.
Fischer, 33, the chief economist on the committee, grew up on a farm in southwestern Oklahoma that has been in the family for five generations. He studied agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University and stayed on for a second bachelor’s in business administration with a double major in accounting and finance.
After his internship on the committee, Fischer went to Cambridge University in England, where he got a master’s degree in land economy. Fischer notes that he spent that year studying environmental policy and trying to understand how people without an agriculture background approach policy. He also traveled the Continent, sending Schertz a series of e-mails that began, “Greetings from across the pond.”
Fischer went to Texas A&M in 2008 to get a Ph.D., and had all but finished when Lucas asked him to return to the committee in 2010 as chief economist. Fischer is on a leave of absence, but said the 1,000-page farm bill will give him plenty of material for his dissertation.
While the two work together closely, there are some differences. Schertz, who is single, has lost 35 pounds during the stress of the drawn-out farm bill, while Fischer, who has a wife and child, said he has gone in the other direction.
- 1 The Trump-Clinton Race Is Not As Close As It Looks
- 2 How Politics Breaks Our Brains, and How We Can Put Them Back Together
- 3 To Remain Relevant, Rubio Needs to Stay in the Senate
- 4 Air Force Leader: It Was Difficult to Work at the Pentagon With ‘Discrimination’ Against Gays
- 5 How Tech Is Getting College Students to Turn Out for Election Day
What We're Following See More »
Former Attorney General Eric Holder said that NSA leaker Edward Snowden "actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made" by releasing information about government surveillance. Holder, a guest on David Axelrod's "Axe Files" podcast, also said Snowden endangered American interests and should face consequences for his actions.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, needing an improbable comeback to take the nomination from Hillary Clinton, showed up to the Warriors' Game 7 in Oakland during a break in California campaigning. "Let's turn this thing around," he told the San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli.
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."