Joe Biden’s Agriculture Secretary nominee pledges to address discrimination across the Department of Agriculture. In the Senate Agriculture Committee confirmation hearing, Tom Vilsack told lawmakers he will also seek to remove barriers to access for anyone who qualifies for nutrition assistance.
In his opening statement, Vilsack also vowed to ensure USDA is doing its part to end the COVID-19 pandemic, lead the federal government in building and maintaining new markets, stop the farm debt cycle and create transparency in pricing throughout the supply chain. Vilsack, who was Agriculture Secretary during the Obama administration, also seeks to restore USDA employee morale “to the high level it was” during his previous tenure at USDA.
Incoming Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, stated, “My last turn as Chair coincided with your first tenure at USDA, and I’m so happy to have the chance to work with you again.” The Committee advanced the nomination to the full Senate following the hearing.