Texas Senator Ted Cruz says he’ll continue to block a senate confirmation vote on Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey’s job in the U.S.D.A.
Politico reports that yesterday, Cruz said he’s still waiting for the Trump Administration to organize a meeting with oil-state senators who have concerns about the federal mandate on biofuel production. Governor Kim Reynolds said Northey’s job as U.S.D.A. undersecretary for farm production and conservation has nothing to do with implementing the Renewable Fuels Standard.
“I’m really disappointed,” Reynolds said during a news conference Tuesday in Ames. “We’re going to continue to fight.”
Reynolds does not plan to lobby Cruz directly. The governor said she’ll rely on Cruz’s peers — Republican U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst — to pressure Cruz to relent.
“I’m hoping at some point he’ll pull back and Secretary Northey’s nomination can move forward,” Reynolds said.
Cruz won the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. Just before Iowa Republicans cast their votes in that presidential contest, Cruz argued federal ethanol policy helps lobbyists and “keeps Iowa dependent on Washington” because every year Iowans have to go “beg” the EPA not to reduce the production mandate for ethanol and biodiesel.