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Senate ag committee schedules Vilsack hearing

Senate ag committee schedules Vilsack hearing

The hearing will take place Feb. 2

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

President Biden’s pick to head the United States Department of Agriculture will have his day in front of the Senate ag committee next month.

Tom Vilsack’s confirmation hearing will take place Feb. 2 at 10:30 AM ET, committee members Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) announced on Jan. 27.

During the hearing, Vilsack will face questions from committee members ranging from broad issues to state-specific items. He’ll also have a chance to lay out his plan or the president’s ideas for the USDA.

After the hearing, the committee will vote on the confirmation using either a voice vote or a unanimous consent agreement. Vilsack received a unanimous support in 2009 in his first USDA confirmation hearing.

Vilsack has already met with members of the Senate ag committee to discuss the USDA’s priorities.

“Secretary Vilsack and I discussed how he plans to quickly respond to the urgent challenges facing farmers and hungry families,” Stabenow said in a Dec. 18 statement. “He shared his commitment to rebuild our rural communities, empower farmers to help tackle the climate crisis, and address systemic racism at USDA that has persisted for too long.”

Industry groups are hopeful Vilsack’s confirmation is a smooth process.

Nearly 130 industry groups sent a letter to the Senate ag committee asking its members to confirm Vilsack without delay.

As of Jan. 26, four of President Biden’s cabinet picks have received confirmation:

  • Antony Blinken as secretary of state
  • Janet Yellen as treasury secretary
  • Lloyd Austin as defense secretary
  • Avril Haines as director of national intelligence

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