“Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve, to be secretary of the treasury’s one that seems to have at least support within the Democratic Party,” Grassley says. “Probably good support within Republicans in the Senate, but I wouldn’t want to say that until we have the hearing, because you don’t know what crops up sometimes when you have a hearing that you don’t know about.”
Grassley says the panel will need to review Yellen’s tax returns, as senators did before confirming her to the Federal Reserve in 2014. Biden has yet to indicate who he plans to nominate to serve as U.S. Ag Secretary. Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat who lost her bid for re-election in 2018, is rumored to be on Biden’s list.
“I think she’d be a good one,” Grassley says of Heitkamp, “but there’s three or four others circulating.”
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack served as US Ag Secretary during all eight years of the Obama Administration and Grassley says a Vilsack return to the USDA “would be to my liking.”
“From my point of view, Vilsack was a very successful secretary of agriculture and one that I could work with,” Grassley says.
Vilsack and his wife, Christie, endorsed Biden in 1987 and again last year in the lead-up to Iowa’s 2020 Caucuses. South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn — a key Biden endorser before that state’s Primary — has publicly pushed for Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge to be the next ag secretary.
(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)