Nearly six months after being nominated by President Trump to serve as USDA’s Undersecretary for farm production and conservation, Iowan Bill Northey has been confirmed.
The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Northey Tuesday.
“It is a tremendous honor for me to be confirmed to serve as an Under Secretary of Agriculture. I want to thank President Trump for nominating me and Secretary Perdue for his support and encouragement throughout the confirmation process,” said Northey in a prepared statement.
Northey is currently serving his third term as Iowa’s Agriculture Secretary. According to his office, the timing for Northey’s resignation and swearing-in is still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.
Northey’s confirmation has been held up in a battle of political wills over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held back Northey’s nomination as the Ag Department’s newest undersecretary.
Cruz represents a large oil producing and refining state, while Iowa is the country’s leading ethanol and biodiesel producers. Northey’s confirmation comes on the same day that a group of senators, including Cruz, will meet with President Trump and several of his cabinet members to discuss possible changes to the RFS.
“While this process has taken longer than expected, I remain as excited as ever to work with Secretary Perdue and the staff at USDA to support of our nation’s farmers and ranchers,” said Northey.
Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst will also attend the White House summit on Tuesday. Northey expressed his gratitude to the Iowa senators for their “strong support” during the delayed nomination process.
Northey says he looks forward to continuing to work closely with them in his new role.