Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told lawmakers this week he may be the lone political appointment at the Department of Agriculture until September, or later. Currently, 15 executive posts at USDA are vacant and await White House nomination. Perdue told the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee the names of nominees for six positions, including that of deputy secretary, have been sent to the White House, but that he is “fearful” none of them will be ready for Senate confirmation before the summer recess.
Perdue blamed the slowness on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the White House ethics office.
Asked about decisions being delayed due to lack of personnel in decision-making positions, Perdue said: “Not many decisions are piling up, but I’m tired of working 22 hours per day.” Perdue himself waited nearly 100 days after being nominated before receiving Senate confirmation.
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