Senate Could Vote This Week on Key USDA Nominees

The Senate could vote this week on Biden nominees for key USDA posts, as it wraps up most pre-election business but for a week or so in October.

Senate Ag Republicans last week complained about how long it’s taken for President Biden to name candidates for top USDA posts, especially in trade. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley; “We’ve been waiting for 20 months to get agricultural policy at the head of this administration. And this ought to move along very quickly, and it really ought to move next week by UC.”

UC refers to ‘unanimous consent’ of all 100 senators, thus allowing expedited confirmation of Alexis Taylor for Undersecretary for Trade, Jose Emilio Esteban for Undersecretary for Food Safety, and Vincent Garfield Logan for a seat on the Farm Credit Board.

Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow at last week’s hearing; “I hope next week, that we can get 100 percent of the Senate. In fact, what would be great, is to get a UC, Senator Grassley, on all three of these nominees that fill these positions. Hopefully, we can do that, we can work together.”

And, for good reason. Stabenow; “I strongly support each and every one of you in your nominations, moving forward. I know, as you can see from today, there’s strong bipartisan support from the committee, which speaks to each of you and the quality of your nomination.”

The Senate will likely go into a wrap-up session at the end of the week, where last-minute business is fast-tracked before the end of the fiscal year on Friday.