US Senate approves Vilsack for Agriculture Department again

The US Senate voted 92-7 on Tuesday to confirm Tom Vilsack as Agriculture secretary, his second run at the Cabinet post. Vilsack also heavily backed the SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme commonly known as food stamps as a key instrument in helping the countrys most vulnerable families survive and recover from the pandemic era.

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 24-02-2021 02:22 IST | Created: 24-02-2021 02:19 IST
US Senate approves Vilsack for Agriculture Department again
Representative image Image Credit: Wikimedia

The US Senate voted 92-7 on Tuesday to confirm Tom Vilsack as Agriculture secretary, his second run at the Cabinet post. The former Iowa governor spent eight years leading the same department for former President Barack Obama's entire administration.

In his testimony, Vilsack, 70, heavily endorsed boosting climate-friendly agricultural industries such as the creation of biofuels, saying "Agriculture is one of our first and best ways to get some wins'' on climate change.

He proposed "building a rural economy based on biomanufacturing" and "turning agricultural waste into a variety of products." He pledged to work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency to "spur the industry" on biofuels.

With systemic racial inequity now a nationwide talking point, Vilsack also envisioned creating an "equity taskforce" inside the department. Its job, he said, would be to identify what he called "intentional or unintentional barriers'' that prevent or discourage farmers of colour from properly accessing federal assistance programs. Vilsack also heavily backed the SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme — commonly known as food stamps — as a key instrument in helping the country's most vulnerable families survive and recover from the pandemic era. His Trump-era predecessor, Sonny Perdue, had sought to purge hundreds of thousands of people from the SNAP-recipient lists. He faced minimal opposition throughout the confirmation process.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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