Grassley, Ernst appeal to McConnell on Northey | TheFencePost.com

Grassley, Ernst appeal to McConnell on Northey

Bill Northey

Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Iowa Republicans, have appealed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Texas, to hold a vote on President Donald Trump's nomination of Bill Northey to be Agriculture undersecretary for food production and conservation, even though Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has placed a hold on the nomination, the Food and Environment Reporting Network said.

"We want to do it as soon after Nov. 30 as we can," Grassley said in a phone call to reporters, FERN said. "When it comes to the farm bill, we need him (Northey) in place — and from that standpoint, the leader said he would help to move it along. How he will do that, I don't know."

Cruz is so upset that Trump has stuck with his campaign promise to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard that he has placed a hold on Senate floor consideration of Northey's nomination. The Senate Agriculture Committee has approved the nomination.

Cruz has demanded a White House meeting so that senators from oil states and corn states could discuss their differences, but no meeting has been scheduled.

The EPA is obliged to announce by Nov. 30 the RFS volumetric requirements for 2018, and Cruz would lose his leverage when the EPA acts, FERN noted.