Senate Ag approves Hipp, Stabenow talks schedule
The Senate Agriculture Committee today, June 10, voted to approve President Biden’s nomination of Janie Simms Hipp to be Agriculture Department general counsel.
At a meeting held in the President’s Room off the Senate floor, the vote was unanimous by voice.
After the meeting, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told reporters she hopes the full Senate will confirm Hipp by unanimous consent.
Stabenow said the committee has still not received the necessary paper work to hold hearings on President Biden’s nominations of Robert Bonnie to be agriculture undersecretary for food production and conservation and Jenny Moffitt to be undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs; Stabenow said committee “questionnaires” have not been answered.
Stabenow also said she is working with Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., the ranking member of the committee, on “the most thoughtful way” to put together a hearing on the cattle industry. She said the hearing might be this month because there are “serious weaknesses in the supply chain.”
Work on increasing funding for conservation programs beyond the Biden administration’s proposals is continuing but it is unclear what legislation would contain more money for conservation, Stabenow said.
Asked about research groups asking for $40 billion in additional funding, Stabenow said she “would love to see” more money for agricultural research, but quickly added that she also wants more money for broadband internet access and other needs of rural communities.
In a joint news release, Stabenow and Boozman praised the committee action on Hipp.
“I’m pleased our committee worked together on a bipartisan basis to move Ms. Hipp’s nomination forward,” said Stabenow. “Ms. Hipp has established herself as one of the preeminent minds in her field and has extensive on the ground experience supporting our farmers, families, and rural communities.”
“Ms. Hipp’s vast array of agricultural law experience will serve the department well,” said Boozman. “I am pleased that the committee came together to advance her nomination in a timely manner. Today’s action puts us one step closer to filling this important role at USDA.”
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is expected to sign SB 21-87, known as the Farm Workers Bill of Rights, though much of the content will be decided through the rulemaking process.