The White House sent some paperwork to the Senate Friday officially nominating former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to lead the Department of Agriculture, the first step for the official confirmation process.
The paperwork does not include some important documents, like an FBI background check and financial declarations, according to a spokesperson for Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the ranking Democrat on Senate Committee on Agriculture. The paperwork sent Friday is necessary for the Agriculture Committee to set a hearing date for Perdue.
Perdue was the final cabinet nominee announced before President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Trump announced Perdue’s nomination nearly eight weeks ago on Jan. 18, but had not sent the Senate the official nomination documents, leading some to wonder why the process was taking so long. (RELATED: What’s Going On With Trump’s Agriculture Secretary)
Perdue has been actively meeting with senators, and has wide support from both parties. Democratic North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp endorsed Perdue in early February, and former President Barack Obama’s agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said Perdue “full well the opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities.”
“Sonny Perdue is just waiting,” Agriculture Committee chairman Sen. Pat Roberts said during a discussion about the next Farm Bill in Kansas Feb. 23, according agriculture trade publication The Hagstrom Report. The Senate would quickly hold a hearing and vote to confirm Perdue if they could schedule a meeting, Roberts said.
Perdue is one of four nominees for Trump’s cabinet or cabinet-level officials awaiting confirmation in the Senate.
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