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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

US Senate | Agriculture | United States

AP  |  Washington 

Tom Vilsack
Tom Vilsack

The voted 92-7 on Tuesday to confirm Tom Vilsack as 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 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.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, February 24 2021. 04:09 IST