House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson threw cold water Thursday on suggestions that he should be agriculture secretary in the Biden administration. "There's plenty of people out there that want the job," he told reporters, adding that he was "not looking for a full-time, four-year job" after 30 years in Congress.
It took little more than a shake of the head and a few reproachful words for House Agriculture chairman Kika de la Garza to sink a Clinton-era proposal to change the USDA's name to the Department of Food and Agriculture. "It would better reflect what USDA actually does and where the dollars are spent," said Dan Glickman, the agriculture secretary who brought the idea to Capitol Hill as part of a reorganization of the department and its myriad duties.
Obama-era officials and lawmakers top the list of potential nominees for agriculture secretary in the Biden administration, and, for the first time, most of the contenders are women. Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, co-founder of the One Country Project to boost Democratic support in rural America, was the most frequently mentioned name.
When farm bill negotiators get down to business, the 47 House "conferees" will face an unusually big-caliber Senate team, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as one of its members, a rare role for the leader. Senate Agriculture Committee leaders, in cheering the formal appointment of their nine negotiators, used "bipartisan" to describe their approach and take a swipe at the Republican-written House farm bill and its proposal to require more people to work 20 hours a week to qualify for food stamps.
A month after taking a pass, North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer changed his mind and entered the Senate race against first-term Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, giving the GOP a well-known candidate in a potentially pivotal race for control of the Senate. Political handicappers rate the race as a toss-up because President Trump carried the state in a landslide in 2016 but Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is a tenacious and well-funded campaigner.
Casting herself as a centrist, North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp announced she is running for a second term in the Senate, potentially an uphill race in a state won by landslide margins by President Trump last November. Heitkamp told the Fargo Forum that she believes there is an opportunity …
First-term Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, “has a strong personal brand and Republicans do not yet have a clear challenger,” says the political tip sheet Sabato’s Crystal Ball in previewing the 2018 Senate race in North Dakota. “We’re giving her a boost to ‘Leans Democratic.’ ”
The Trump nominee for agriculture secretary, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, has the support of North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, the first Democrat to endorse him. A Democrat-turned-Republican, Perdue has attracted none of the controversy dogging other cabinet nominees. But as the last of President Trump's selections, he still awaits a confirmation hearing.
The Trump administration will focus on regulatory relief in its early days in office, said two farm-policy hands, who pointed to EPA's Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule as a prime example of federal over-reach. Chuck Conner, of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, said President-elect Trump will be forceful in rolling back regulations, and Dale Moore, of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the regulatory burden saps farmers' bottom lines.
More than a quarter of the land in the United States, mostly in the West and Alaska, is owned by the federal government, a massive stewardship challenge and a frequent cause of friction with local governments. President-elect Donald Trump apparently has settled on Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a proponent of oil and gas development, to run the Interior Department, which oversees 416 million acres. But transition officials are silent on his choice for the Agriculture Department, which controls nearly 193 million acres of forest and grassland.
President-elect Donald Trump says "you'll be seeing almost all" of his cabinet nominees this week; he already has tabbed three of the four big posts — Defense, Treasury, Justice and State — and USDA usually is included in the second round of announcements. There were reports that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad may become U.S. ambassador to China and Cathy Bertini, former head of the World Food Program, may be named head of the USAID.
Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, expected to face a rugged re-election race in 2018, will meet President-elect Donald Trump today in New York amid speculation that the North Dakotan is under consideration to head the Agriculture or Energy departments, said Roll Call. Heitkamp told reporters she was responding to an invitation from Trump and "I don't even known if it's about a job."
One-third of the 23 Democratic senators facing re-election in 2018 sit on the Agriculture Committee, including the panel's top Democrat, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, a stalwart defender of food stamps in the final negotiations for the 2014 farm law. President-elect Donald Trump carried four of the states where Ag Committee Democrats will have to decide soon whether to run for another term, a sign of Republican strength.
First-term Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced that “she won’t pursue a second run for the office of North Dakota governor, ending months of speculation by opting to remain in the U.S. Senate,” reports the Bismarck (ND) Tribune. “Heitkamp was considered …
North Dakota Sen Heidi Heitkamp, elected in 2012 and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is among three Democrats who may run for governor in 2016 rather than seek re-election to the Senate in 2018, says Politico.
The oil boom in the northern Plains "is creating a crisis for farmers whose grain shipments have been help up by a vast new movement of oil by rail," said the New York Times.