As expected, the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday voted to send President Donald Trump’s nomination of Sonny Perdue as Agriculture secretary to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation.
The vote occurred off the Senate floor in the midst of floor votes.
Floor action on Perdue has not been scheduled. Lobbyists have said they hope the vote will occur before the Senate leaves next Friday for the two-week Easter break. But the Senate is also expected to consider the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court next week, and that process is expected to be time consuming.
“I’m pleased our committee has made swift strides to move Governor Perdue’s nomination closer to the finish line,” Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan. said in a news release. “Our farmers and ranchers have been waiting too long for this important position to be filled. We need to get Governor Perdue down to USDA to get to work. Rural America is ready.”
Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said in a statement, “After a thorough review of his qualifications and priorities, I support the nomination of Governor Perdue to serve as Agriculture secretary.”
“Although we have some differences on policy, we share a commitment to support American agriculture and strengthen our small towns and rural communities,” Stabenow said. “I look forward to working with Governor Perdue as we write the 2018 farm bill. Farmers and families in Michigan and all across rural America need a champion at USDA.”
Perdue was approved by voice vote. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., voted no, and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., the nominee’s cousin, abstained, committee spokespersons said.