The head of the U.S.D.A. is calling on the Republican-led senate to quickly confirm Iowa’s ag secretary for a job in the agency.
“We’ve always in the United States had a great transition of government and this is a poor example of how to transition when we can’t get people in office in order to go to work,” U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters after an event in Omaha this morning.
Perdue openly questioned the hold Texas Senator Ted Cruz has placed on Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey’s nomination to be an undersecretary in the U.S.D.A.
“I respect the process, but when one senator can put a hold on a nominee — not based on anything that has to do with the nominee, but another total issue, I’m not sure we’ve got the right process in place there,” Perdue said.
Cruz and other oil-state senators are complaining about how Iowa’s senators pressured the EPA to back off a plan that may have reduced biofuel production in 2018. Perdue was in Omaha to swear-in a Nebraskan for another job in the U.S.D.A. Newly-confirmed U.S.D.A. undersecretary Greg Ibach spoke directly to Northey, who was present in the room.
“It would have been nice to have you to be part of this party as well,” Ibach said. “But we’ll celebrate when they do approve you and we hope they’ll do that very soon.”
Ibach had been director the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Northey has been Iowa’s Agriculture Secretary since January of 2007.
(Reporting by the Brownfield Network’s Ken Anderson; Nebraska Radio Network’s Brent Martin and Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)