Senate Confirms Trump Agriculture Secretary Pick

Anita Tucker
April 25, 2017

Sonny Perdue today is the 31st Secretary of Agriculture, having won confirmation by the U.S. Senate in an 87-to-11 vote on Monday.

Noting that Sonny Perdue was the first Republican governor of Georgia in more than 135 years, Sen. "We are eager for agriculture to finally have a seat in the president's cabinet, and we know Secretary Perdue is just as eager to get to work for farmers, consumers and rural America". He also promised to reach out to Democrats, and several Democratic senators have said they will vote for him. Perdue is a longtime former state senator He also played quarterback in high school for the Warner Robins Demons. "Agriculture needs a strong advocate", he told the committee.

Perdue was last Cabinet-level pick to be announced by Trump, and it took weeks to submit his Senate paperwork as he looked to untie himself from his myriad business interests.

It also fills a gap that troubled some crop and livestock producers across USA farm states, which heavily factored into Mr. Trump's electoral victory in November.

Additionally, NFU urges Perdue to quickly review and approve the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, "which will provide farmers and ranchers with basic protections against anti-competitive practices".

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During Perdue's March 23 confirmation hearing, he was pressed by Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., about Trump's proposed 21% budget cuts to USDA. But farmers who produce more than they can sell in the United States have heavily profited from some of those deals, and are hoping his anti-trade policies will include some exceptions for agriculture.

At the hearing, Perdue said, "Food is a noble thing to trade". Canada changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products that compete with US milk.

Gov. Perdue was announced by Trump on January 19 - the day before the president was sworn in - as his choice to lead USDA, but confirmation hearings were delayed while the nominee made arrangements with his business holdings to meet ethics requirements.

Also, the executive order will terminate the White House Rural Council and ask the task force to create another similar body that will develop plans to more effectively establish cross-agency collaboration to benefit the agricultural sector, Starling stated, Sputnik reported.

There have been rumors that Perdue will be sworn in this evening, but, according to a White House press pool report filed Sunday, Perdue is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday (April 25).

Other reports by My Hot News

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