Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley told reporters that it’s just a matter of time until Bill Northey, the Iowa state agriculture secretary, is nominated for a senior post at the USDA. Since spring, Northey has been considered the likely nominee for undersecretary for farm production and conservation, overseeing farm subsidies and land stewardship programs.
Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is meeting an "unprecedented" number of senators while waiting for the administration to send to the Senate his nomination for agriculture secretary, says a transition official, who is hopeful the process will begin moving "in the next couple of days." Perdue's selection was announced on the day before President Trump's inauguration, so he's the last one to go through the FBI background check.
Chairman John Barrasso called it "political theater," but Democratic members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee prevented a vote on EPA nominee Scott Pruitt by boycotting a committee meeting. Barrasso said he would meet with the senior Democrat on the panel, Tom Carper, to find a way to move the nomination forward, said The Hill newspaper.