https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/540084-senate-confirms-vilsack-as-agriculture-secretary

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Tom VilsackTom VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the second time.

The Senate voted 92-7 to confirm Vilsack. He is the 32nd Agriculture secretary and the ninth member of President BidenJoe BidenTikTok users spread conspiracy that Texas snow was manufactured by the government The problem with a one-size-fits-all federal minimum wage hike Throwing money at Central America will not curb illegal migration MORE’s Cabinet to be confirmed by the Senate. Vilsack previously served for eight years as head of USDA under former President Obama.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Neera Tanden’s nomination in peril after three GOP noes | Trump rages after SCOTUS rules on financial records Tanden’s path to confirmation looks increasingly untenable Asian Pacific American Caucus urges senators to confirm Tanden MORE (I-Vt.), voted against Vilsack’s nomination, marking the first senator who caucuses with the Democrats to vote against a Biden Cabinet pick. 

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Vilsack’s nomination received pushback last month from progressives who felt he was too aligned with major agricultural corporations when he was Obama’s head of the USDA. Vilsack is now president of the dairy lobby group, the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

GOP Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Biden to take ‘executive action’ to address SolarWinds breach | Facebook and Google respond to Australian proposed law | DOJ charges North Korean hackers with stealing .3 billion in cryptocurrency Hassan to chair Senate emerging threats subcommittee GOP lawmakers mourn death of Rush Limbaugh MORE (Ky.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyGarland commits to combatting systemic racism LIVE COVERAGE: Senate set to consider Garland for AG Trump to speak at CPAC in first public appearance since leaving White House MORE (Mo.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDeSantis easily defeats Rubio, Scott in hypothetical presidential primary: poll Journalism has been ‘Jerry Springerized’ The Hill’s Morning Report – Disaster politics hobble Cruz, Cuomo MORE (Fla.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTexas attorney general and wife went to Utah amid winter storm crisis Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden’s .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March Tanden’s path to confirmation looks increasingly untenable MORE (Texas), and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanJohnson confronts Romney after vote on witnesses LIVE COVERAGE: Senate trial moves to closing arguments GOP senators call Capitol riot videos ‘disturbing,’ ‘powerful,’ ‘graphic’ MORE (Alaska) also voted against his nomination Tuesday.

Before serving in the Obama administration, Vilsack, 70, had served as governor of Iowa. He received bipartisan praise from the Senate Agriculture Committee and his nomination was unanimously advanced by the panel. 

Biden passed up Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeBiden’s infrastructure plan needs input from cities and regions Federal agency to crack down on LGBTQ housing discrimination Congressional Black Caucus to push aggressive agenda MORE (D-Ohio) for the role, who was backed by a number of progressive groups and is a vocal force for protecting food banks and food insecurity programs. One climate group, 350.org, called Vilsack’s selection a “stark contrast” with the wide backing for Fudge.

Fudge is Biden’s nominee to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Vilsack fielded questions on trade during his confirmation hearing and said he will work to stabilize and secure trade policy in the aftermath of the Trump administration.  

He is also set to take over the agency during the coronavirus pandemic, which has put the spotlight on food insecurity. He said at his hearing he would bolster the capacity at food banks and pantries to keep up with the recent demand.

Vilsack said he is also focused on fighting climate change and partnering with Congress on efforts toward zero emission agriculture.

The Senate confirmed Linda Thomas-GreenfieldLinda Thomas-GreenfieldSchumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Supreme Court’s blow to Trump The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by The AIDS Institute – COVID-19 rescue bill a unity test for Dems MORE to represent the United States at the United Nations as ambassador earlier on Tuesday.

Other confirmed Cabinet members include Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonough Harris and second gentleman hand out cookies to essential workers at DC veterans hospital The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump’s second impeachment trial begins The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by TikTok – Senate trial will have drama, but no surprise ending MORE, Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden’s infrastructure plan needs input from cities and regions A bold and comprehensive proposal to act on major crises facing America Do you have range anxiety? MORE, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasHillicon Valley: Google lifting ban on political ads | DHS taking steps on cybersecurity | Controversy over TV ‘misinformation rumor mills’ DHS announces new measures to boost nation’s cybersecurity Federal agents seize more than 11 million fake N95 masks MORE, Director of National Intelligence Avril HainesAvril HainesSchumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate Overnight Defense: NATO expanding troops in Iraq Biden shifts approach to Saudi leaders MORE, Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense: Rockets land in Iraq’s Green Zone in third attack in week | US ‘outraged’ at attacks but won’t ‘lash out’ Removing extremists from the military will take more than surveys Austin calls video claiming military allowed assailant to stay in uniform ‘disturbing’ MORE, Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenTrump closer to legal jeopardy after court ruling on tax returns On The Money: Neera Tanden’s nomination in peril after three GOP noes | Trump rages after SCOTUS rules on financial records Yellen: ,400 stimulus payments would help people in ‘pockets of misery’ MORE and Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenKhamenei: ‘Iran will not yield to pressure’ may increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent Did Biden just endorse ‘human rights with Chinese characteristics’? Erdoğan: Turkey wants to strengthen ties with US after relationship was ‘seriously tested’ MORE.

Updated at 3:17 p.m. 

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