Ag Department nominee Perdue facing more delays

WASHINGTON, DC — Farm groups are pushing the U.S. Senate to vote on Sonny Perdue’s confirmation as Agriculture secretary this week before senators go on an extended break, but the odds of Perdue getting cleared before the Easter break seem slim.

The Senate is expected to spend the entire week grappling with the nomination of federal Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The fight over Gorsuch could tie up the Senate and shut down consideration of political nominees or other issues as the two political parties fight over the number of votes required to advance Gorsuch’s nomination.

Perdue, 70, the former governor of Georgia, was the last cabinet secretary nomination named by President Donald Trump in January. Critical background paperwork on Perdue did not make it to the Senate until last month.

Perdue’s nomination finally moved out of the Senate Agriculture Committee last Thursday by a voice vote with only Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., voicing opposition. [1]

He’s certainly off to a strong start — even though it may be a few more weeks before the full Senate will vote on his nomination and likely confirmation. Once at the helm of USDA, he’ll face much stronger opposition on many of his key issues. [2]

SOURCES
[1] Chris Clayton; DTN; April 4, 2017; [2] Sarah Wyant; AgWeek; April 3, 2017.

TAKE NOTE

Perdue is pro horse slaughter. It is said in Washington that expectations are high that as head of Ag Perdue will be working to return horse slaughter to US soil.

To fight this, it is critical that we get as many co-sponsors for HR 113, the SAFE Act, as possible.

Whether or not the SAFE Act becomes law, big support for it will demonstrate how much support there is against horse slaughter which will be critical — as it always is — when it is time to keep the defunding language for horse meat inspections in the annual Agriculture spending bill.

TAKE ACTION

• Go to The Horse Fund’s page at PopVox.com to support HR 113 »

• See also Take Action in the Nation’s Capital Against Horse Slaughter »

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US Agriculture Secretary Nominee Sonny Perdue. Image source: NBC News.

 

 

Mystery of Trump’s nomination of Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — For horses a lot hangs on who is eventually appointed as Secretary of Agriculture. Former George Governor Sonny Perdue was reportedly nominated but confirmation hearings still have not been set. So Perdue remains unconfirmed.

Although not a food animal in the US, the person appointed to head up the Agricultural Department will be in a powerful decision making position that could dangerously impact the lives of horses because of the slaughter issue.

Except for Bravo Packing in New Jersey where horses are reportedly killed for zoo meat etc (they do not return our calls), horses are not slaughtered on US soil. However, some 130,000 to 150,000 horses are sent across US borders a year for the purposes of slaughter. The resulting horse meat is freeze packed and shipped overseas for human consumption.

Horse lovers were concerned from the moment it was reported that Sonny Perdue was nominated to head up the US Department of Agriculture. Perdue is pro horse slaughter.

However, according to a Vox report Perdue has not actually been officially nominated.

Sonny Perdue, [ ] Trump’s nominee to serve as agriculture secretary, has not yet been confirmed, and nobody knows why.

It’s not that Democrats are obstructing his confirmation — since changes to the Senate’s filibuster rule, they can’t block a Trump nominee unless they recruit three Republican “no” votes. And in the case of Perdue — unlike, say, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — they aren’t trying to do this. Nor are they resorting to extraordinary measures like the all-night debate that stalled Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s confirmation, or the committee walkouts that dramatized ethical issues hanging over the heads of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

The reason the Senate hasn’t yet approved his nomination is that he hasn’t actually been officially nominated yet. Paperwork hasn’t yet traveled down from the executive branch to the Senate, so no hearings have been scheduled, even though Perdue does not appear to be a controversial nominee.

There’s little to no reason to be hopeful Perdue will not eventually be nominated, or is there? Vox also reports:

Perdue’s nomination appears to be in limbo due to either the FBI background check or to financial conflicts of interest considered by the Office of Government Ethics. But it seems nobody is entirely sure whether there’s an actual problem, how serious the problem is, or whether the vetters are simply overwhelmed with other work.

In the meantime the USDA and others are in limbo until someone is nominated and confirmed.

In the meantime, US horses as ever are still at risk of slaughter and there seems no end in sight.

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Sonny Perdue. Photo by Jason Getz / Getty Images.

RELATED READING

Tuesday’s Horse
Trump picks former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to head up Agriculture; January 19, 2017.

Other Media
5 Reasons Why Food Experts Are Worried About Trump’s New Agriculture Secretary; GrubStreet.com; by Clint Rainey; January 2017.

Trump picks Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to head up Agriculture

WASHINGTON, DC — President-elect Donald Trump selected former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to lead the Department of Agriculture.

Perdue, 70, served on Trump’s agricultural advisory committee during his presidential campaign. His nomination, which must be confirmed by the Republican-led Senate, will complete Trump’s proposed cabinet just two days before he is sworn in as president on Friday.

Born and raised in Georgia, the 70-year-old veterinarian served as a state senator for 10 years beginning in 1991. In 2003, he became Georgia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

This is not good news for horse advocates.

Perdue is pro horse slaughter. There is nothing to indicate he will be friendly towards efforts to put an end to horse soring.

From various reports Perdue was selected chiefly by Trump because of similar views on agricultural commodities, in particular the US trade with China.

Although lauded as being pro farmer, the following appeared in a Bloomberg article:

“Given Perdue’s position with a global agribusiness trading company and his actions as governor, we are concerned that Perdue will use his position at the USDA to prioritize the profits of big agribusiness and trade over the interests of American farmers, workers and consumers,” said Kari Hamerschlag, a deputy director with Washington-based Friends of the Earth, in a statement.”


IMAGE CREDIT
Jason Getz / Getty Images via NBC News