Nine weeks. It’s been that long since the nomination of Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture was announced. Sure, there’s the obligatory candidate vetting — ethics and personal finance information are under particular scrutiny — but there are other things that dragged out the process for Perdue. Much of that is believed to be linked to Perdue’s efforts to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Welcome to the theater of Washington, D.C., politics. Perdue was the last original Cabinet selection announced by the Trump administration, and he’s the last to have a confirmation hearing take place. (Trump had to renominate someone for Labor Secretary after his first choice withdrew, and even that new person has already been through his confirmation hearing.)
Many people have been excited about Perdue’s appointment and what he can bring to the table with his career and deep roots in Georgia agriculture. But other people have been wary, saying that he steered the state’s agriculture the wrong way and made some poor decisions. Even so, the ag industry largely would have been happy to have in place some real leadership as changes to international trade regulations have been discussed, as cuts to the department have been proposed, and during crises like the Western wildfires that have scorched more than 1 million acres and left people and cattle dead.
During the past two months, Perdue has met with several members of Congress and shored up his relationships with them ahead of today’s hearing. Only time will tell if those efforts have paid off.
Want to learn more about the nominee? Check out these facts about him.
Also, AGDAILY columnist and Farmer’s Daughter USA blogger Amanda Zaluckyj talks here about her excitement to have Perdue installed in the post.
The hearing will be broadcast live on the Senate Ag Committee’s website, and AGDAILY will have coverage of Perdue’s hearing as its goes on today.