Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley this week attempted to move forward the nomination of Bill Northey to a top Department of Agriculture post, but was again blocked by Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Grassley sought unanimous consent from his Senate colleagues on the chamber floor Wednesday. However, Cruz objected, further delaying Northey’s confirmation. Cruz has blocked the vote to confirm Northey as the USDA undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services since October of last year, wanting to reach a deal on biofuel credit prices under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
On the Senate floor, Grassley stated: “Taking a nominee hostage to try and force an ill-conceived policy change is only going to cause more problems for this body in the future.” Ranking Senate Agriculture Committee Democrat Debbie Stabenow also called for the nomination to move forward.
Stabenow said: “It’s important to note that Mr. Northey’s leadership is needed now on a number of issues, including disaster recovery for our farmers in the aftermath of hurricanes, wildfire and drought.”