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Vilsack emerges as top choice for USDA




Reports in many of the news organizations, including Politico, Tom Vilsack has emerged as President-elect Joe Biden’s top pick for Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack was the former Iowa governor and served as the Agriculture secretary for eight years under the Obama administration. The decision on who the Agriculture secretary is going to be has not been made and others including former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge.

It was under Vilsack’s leadership that USDA was petitioned for rulemaking to enact the majority of the provisions of the PAST Act, including eliminating the use of a pad and action device, which resulted in a final agency rule.  The rule however did not meet the deadline of being published in the Federal Register and thus was held up after a Trump administration executive order that halted all regulations not previously published in the Federal Register from moving forward.

The rule, which is currently listed as an inactive rulemaking, will be able to be revisited by the new administration once they assume their positions after the inauguration. It is not clear the priority the current rule has with the new administration, however it would be a rule that Vilsack is familiar with since it advanced under his leadership.

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