Vilsack confirmation hearing happening today

Vilsack confirmation hearing happening today
Feb 02, 2021

The proceedings begin at 10:30 AM ET

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

President Biden’s pick to lead the United States Department of Agriculture in his administration will have his confirmation hearing today.

Tom Vilsack will face questioning from the Senate agriculture committee Tuesday morning at 10:30 AM ET.

The hearing will be broadcast online for anyone who wishes to watch it.

Kevin Shea has been acting secretary of the USDA since Jan. 20.

Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa served as the agriculture secretary during the entire Obama administration. His 2009 confirmation hearing ended with unanimous consent on the first day of hearings.

Since Biden nominated Vilsack in December, people with experience on Capitol Hill have called it a safe pick and don’t foresee any way the Senate doesn’t approve of Vilsack.

Vilsack feels his previous tenure as secretary of agriculture will help him this time around.

“I know the department, I sense its challenges and I have a sense of its capacity and resources,” he told The Storm Lake Times on Jan. 22. “There’s a lot we can do immediately, especially around COVID relief.”

Another confirmation hearing the U.S. ag industry may want to watch happens on Feb. 3.

At 2:00 PM ET on Wednesday, the Senate environment and public works committee will have its hearing to confirm Michael Regan as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The ethanol industry is hopeful Regan will work with it to ensure the biofuel is an integral part of supporting the ag sector and helping the U.S. fight climate change.

The American Coalition for Ethanol “is committed to driving federal policies forward that harness the incredible potential increasing the use of ethanol has to fight climate change while providing significant benefits to rural economies,” CEO Brian Jennings said in a statement. “We are hopeful for a change in philosophy at EPA and a constructive partnership with Mr. Regan to ensure the Agency isn’t an impediment to meeting this potential.”

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