U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, voted to confirm Tom Vilsack to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and issued the following statement:
“Tom Vilsack is no stranger to the needs of Iowa and our agriculture community, and there’s no doubt he’s qualified for the job. As I said during his confirmation hearing, Secretary Vilsack must be a strong and loud advocate for Iowa farmers, the biofuel community, and rural America as a whole when helping create and implement the new administration’s agenda. If Secretary Vilsack decides to give into the liberal Left – their policies that would hurt animal agriculture and devastate our biofuel industry and the RFS – Iowans will remember. I expect Mr. Vilsack to do the right thing for farm country, and I will certainly hold him to that,” said Ernst.
Senator Ernst questioned Mr. Vilsack at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Ernst pressed Vilsack as to whether he will be directing USDA to purchase Tesla trucks that run on electricity or supporting Iowa farmers and purchasing Ford F-150s that run on E-85, a higher blend of ethanol. Ernst also pushed Vilsack to look ahead to 2022 and asked what he will do to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in the face of near unanimous support of electric vehicles among Democrats.