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Politics Democrat fight over who should serve as Biden's Agriculture Secretary

01:40  28 november  2020
01:40  28 november  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Vilsack served as Secretary of Agriculture for the Obama Adminstration from 2009 - 2017. Clyburn has blasted speculation that Vilsack should be Democrats are already clashing over whether they should push progressive policies during Biden ' s presidency, or try and appeal more to centrist

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Joe Biden, Marcia Fudge are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

A fight is breaking out among Democrats over who Joe Biden should pick to be his Secretary of Agriculture.

The president-elect has yet to appoint the person who will head up the Agriculture Department, which oversees various agencies including the United States Forest Service, the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the Food Stamp Program.

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn - who is widely seen as playing a crucial role in Biden's Democratic primary victory - told The New York Times on Thursday that Biden should name Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge to the powerful position.

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Fudge - a black woman who currently leads the nutrition and oversight panel on the House Agriculture Committee - also has the support of two of Biden's closest advisors, according to the Times.

Marcia Fudge standing posing for the camera: Fudge - a black woman who currently leads the nutrition and oversight panel on the House Agriculture Committee - also has the support of two of Biden's closest advisors, according to the Times © Provided by Daily Mail Fudge - a black woman who currently leads the nutrition and oversight panel on the House Agriculture Committee - also has the support of two of Biden's closest advisors, according to the Times

Clyburn told the publication that he believes the Department of Agriculture should undergo drastic change, claiming it currently 'favors big farming interests' over 'little farmers in Clarendon County, South Carolina, or food stamp recipients in Cleveland, Ohio'.

He also claimed the Department is disproportionately focused on majority white states in the Midwest, with the food and agricultural needs of the rural south largely neglected.

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'I'm sick and tired of people saying that rural America is only Nebraska and Iowa,' Clyburn later stated to the New York Post.

'Rural America is South Carolina, it's Mississippi, it's Alabama. It's Georgia. It was black rural voters who helped Biden carry Georgia in the general election.'

He claims Fudge is the right woman to shake up the Department, and is putting pressure on Biden to name her to the position.

Heidi Heitkamp wearing a suit and tie: More conservative names are also being thrown around. Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is being touted as a possible contender (pictured) © Provided by Daily Mail More conservative names are also being thrown around. Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is being touted as a possible contender (pictured)

However, more conservative names are also being thrown around.

Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is being touted as a possible contender, as is former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsac.

Vilsack served as Secretary of Agriculture for the Obama Administration from 2009 to  2017.

Clyburn has blasted speculation that Vilsack will be tapped to serve again, saying that Biden's presidency should not be a third term for the Obama Administration.

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Tom Vilsack wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsac - who has already served as Secretary of Agriculture in the Obama Administration - is also being touted as a possible Biden pick © Provided by Daily Mail Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsac - who has already served as Secretary of Agriculture in the Obama Administration - is also being touted as a possible Biden pick

'I don't know why we've got to be recycling,' he told The Times.

He added that there is 'a strong feeling that black farmers did not get a fair shake' while Vilsack was serving in the role.

Meanwhile, others say Biden should choose Fudge as a sign of respect to Clyburn for the vital role he played in the Democratic primary.

'Biden owes his presidency to Clyburn, and Clyburn is going all in for Fudge. Publicly. It would be a huge slap if he picked Heitkamp at this point,' activist Ady Barkan wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Democrats are already clashing over whether they should push progressive policies during Biden's presidency, or try and appeal more to centrist Democrats and Independents.

The argument comes after many moderate Democrats in swing states blamed House losses on far-left politicians who pushed for a defunding of the police.

So far, Biden has not indicated just how progressive his presidency will be, with his current cabinet picks all trending toward the establishment center-left.

He has also stated that he will not appoint progressive politicians Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren to cabinet posts as he needs them in the senate.

graphical user interface, text, application: Some say Biden should choose Fudge as a sign of respect to Clyburn for the vital role he played in the Democratic primary © Provided by Daily Mail Some say Biden should choose Fudge as a sign of respect to Clyburn for the vital role he played in the Democratic primary Read more

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usr: 0
This is interesting!