Senator: ‘I Wish To Hell I Knew’ When Agriculture Pick Would Be Ready For Hearing

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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Secretary of agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue is still waiting on a confirmation hearing, and the Senate is getting nervous the administration has not filed the necessary paperwork to schedule a meeting.

“I don’t know yet,” Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts told the Associated Press Wednesday when asked about the paperwork. “I wish to hell I did. We need a champion for agriculture, we need him on board,” Perdue said.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, which Roberts chairs, can’t schedule the hearing until the White House sends official paperwork, including financial disclosures reported to the Office of Government Ethics.

The administration officials “don’t seem to have a reason as to why his name hasn’t come up,” Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley told said.

President Donald Trump nominated Perdue Jan. 18, more than six weeks ago, just a few days before the inauguration. Perdue and secretary of labor nominee R. Alexander Acosta are the only nominees waiting for a hearing.

Trump nominated Acosta for labor secretary Feb. 16, a few days after Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination after admitting he employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper for years.

Perdue would likely breeze through the confirmation hearing and floor vote, as he has endorsements from even Democratic senators. Iowa Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp endorsed Perdue, as has former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

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