Sen. Thad Cochran sits down with ag secretary nominee Gov. Sonny Perdue Sen. Cochran

Perdue nomination hearing set for Thursday

Secretary of agriculture nominee, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, set to appear before Senate Agriculture Committee on March 23.

The Senate Agriculture Committee announced that Sonny Perdue, the President's agriculture secretary nominee, will appear before the committee on March 23. A time has not been determined yet.

Perdue, former governor of Georgia, was the last Cabinet position to be nominated by President Donald Trump, and his paperwork had been delayed for weeks. The Senate did finally receive his paperwork on March 9.

Perdue has enjoyed wide support by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill as well as a vast majority of agriculture industry groups. The nomination hearing will provide an opportunity for Senate Agriculture Committee members to make their priorities known to the nominee.

Politico reported that Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) said she won’t decide whether to vote for Perdue until she has had a chance to review all of his paperwork.

Perdue also touts an endorsement from his predecessor, Tom Vilsack. Being an advocate for all farmers was paramount for Vilsack, and he expects Perdue to carry the torch. Vilsack noted in a statement that he has had the opportunity to work with Perdue and knows how committed he is to all farmers, ranchers and producers, regardless of size or production method.

“As a former governor, he knows full well the opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities,” Vilsack said, adding that Perdue has a desire to see markets expanded domestically and throughout the world.

In a letter to an ethics official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Perdue outlined the steps he would take relating to his business ventures if confirmed for the secretary post.

He is the sole owner of Perdue Properties LLC and Perdue Real Estate Holdings LLLP. These entities are dormant, have no assets and generate no income. Perdue noted that they will remain dormant during his appointment.

He said upon his confirmation, he also will resign from his positions with the National Grain & Feed Assn. board of directors, Perdue Management Holdings LLC, the Bipartisan Policy Center Governor’s Council, the Georgia Agribusiness Council and Perdue Business Holdings Inc.

He and his wife are co-trustees and sole beneficiaries of the Perdue Family Revocable Management Trust, and his wife is the trustee and one of the beneficiaries of the Perdue Family Wealth Preservation Trust. Unlike when he was governor of Georgia, he has agreed to restructure the trust so he and his wife will not benefit from it.

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