Senate Ag faces 18 confirmation hearings
February 13, 2017
The Senate Agriculture Committee has not yet scheduled a confirmation hearing for Sonny Perdue, President Donald Trump's nominee for agriculture secretary, but when that hearing is scheduled it will be only the first of 18 that the committee is expected to hold in the coming months.
There are 14 positions at the Agriculture Department that require Senate confirmation and there will be three vacancies at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and one for the Farm Credit Administration board. Trump has not nominated candidates for any of these positions except agriculture secretary.
As the committee of jurisdiction for these agencies, the Senate Agriculture Committee has the responsibility of receiving the nomination papers from the White House, examining them and holding a hearing on each candidate. Each hearing must also be followed by a vote in committee before the nomination can proceed to the Senate floor for a final vote.
Senate aides have said that considering nominees for confirmation is a primary responsibility of the Senate Agriculture Committee and will take priority over work on the next farm bill. The current farm bill expires on Sept. 30, 2018.
Agriculture Department appointments requiring confirmation:
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2. Deputy secretary
3. Assistant secretary for congressional relations
4. Assistant secretary for administration
5. Assistant secretary for civil rights
6. Undersecretary for rural development
7. Undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services
8. Undersecretary for food safety
9. Undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services
10. Undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs
11. Undersecretary for natural resources and environment
12. Undersecretary for research, education and economics
13. General counsel
14. Chief financial officer