Published: Tue, April 25, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Former Ga governor could become Secretary of Agriculture soon

Sonny Perdue was confirmed Monday as secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bringing into President Donald Trump's cabinet an experienced politician with deep support among agricultural interests.

Perdue won confirmation on a strong bipartisan vote of 87-11, as several Democrats backed a Trump nominee after razor-thin outcomes for his choices earlier this year.

The "no" votes came mainly from liberals, including Elizabeth Warren of MA and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY also talked to Trump about the dairy issue last week in a rare phone call between the two men.

"The U.S. cotton industry also believes that someone from this country's second largest cotton-producing state well recognizes what is necessary to stabilize the U.S. cotton industry", stated Lee, a Bronwood, GA, cotton producer. The Senate vote was another illustration of the depth of support for Perdue. I supported Sonny Perdue because I'm hopeful we can find common ground on these issues, among many others. The Republican cracked a smile after the Senate voted to advance his nomination.

The White House hasn't said when Perdue will be sworn in, but he is scheduled to speak to USDA staff Tuesday morning.

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That senate confirmation vote is expected any moment. More than a dozen ethics complaints were filed.

"Having endured months of the current farm crisis and drastic policy changes in Washington without a Secretary of Agriculture, family farmers and ranchers are relieved that Sonny Perdue has finally been confirmed to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture".

Each of us in this Chamber represent farmers, ranchers, consumers, and other stakeholders in our states that are directly affected by decisions made by the Agriculture Secretary.

Isakson said in a speech on the Senate floor that Perdue's "experience and leadership in public service, business and agriculture will benefit our nation".

Bailey Edenburn, Shelby County Farm Bureau manager, said no one doubts the enormity of the task facing Perdue. Senator Baldwin agreed, saying she encourages Perdue to visit Wisconsin to learn more about the issue; while calling upon the Trump Administration to act on Canadian trade barriers that she feels are hurting American dairy farmers and processors. He'll be the first southerner in the position since the mid-1990s.

And Mr. Perdue may have to address those challenges on a smaller budget, after Mr. Trump in March outlined a budget proposal that would reduce the USDA's discretionary funding by about one-fifth to $17.9 billion.

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