For weeks, the political sun beamed on former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, nominated for agriculture secretary, with the only complaint being the slow pace toward a confirmation hearing. Now, the Environmental Working Group faults Perdue for ethical lapses "that raise troubling questions about his fitness to run the department."
As head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt is working up plans to rewrite climate change rules, reduce staffing and close regional offices. But it’s likely he will use a “scalpel rather than a meat cleaver” to cut the agency’s authority, says The New York Times.
Doug Ericksen, head of communications for President Trump's EPA transition team, says that during the transition period, agency scientists will have their work vetted on a “case by case” basis before it can be published and dispersed outside the agency.
Like other farm leaders, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says he's at a loss to explain why President-elect Donald Trump has waited so long to name his nominee for agriculture secretary. Trump "has met with numerous people," Grassley told reporters, so "you can't say he has ignored" the position although the long wait has inspired grumbling, and now rumors, in farm country.
A source close to Ivanka Trump has told the press that the first daughter is interested in childhood nutrition, reports Politico. Some are hoping that Ivanka will influence her father, who took pains during his presidential campaign to show that he’s a burger and pizza guy.
Backers say President-elect Donald Trump is conducting a thorough search for the next agriculture secretary although the search, the longest since 1933, is creating anxiety in farm country and could mean a late start for the Trump ag agenda. Agriculture is the last department without a Trump nominee now that the president-elect announced his choice for secretary of veterans affairs.