Biden Administration Starts Naming Secretary, Under Secretary Positions

President Joe Biden has named Kevin Shea as the acting agriculture secretary until Tom Vilsack is confirmed. Service since 2013. Until Michael Regan is confirmed, Jane Nishida will be the Environmental Protection Agency’s acting administrator. USDA has named three Deputy Under Secretary positions. Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services is Stacy Dean. Dean previously worked at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Office of Management and Budget. Justin Maxson is the Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, who previously worked at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. Deputy Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs is Mae Wu, who previously worked at the Natural Resource Defense Council.

Biden Sworn In as President

Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States on Wednesday. “On this January day, my whole soul is in this; bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation,” said Biden during the Inauguration Address. “I ask every American to join me in this cause.” Following the address, several agriculture groups congratulated the new president and Vice President Kamala Harris
In his first day on the job, President Joe Biden signed off on 17 executive orders. One of the orders calls for a review of former President Donald Trump’s environmental regulations. That includes the changes made to the Waters of the U.S. Rule. A new immigration bill is also on its way to Congress.
In a Red River Farm Network interview, Pro Farmer Policy Analyst Jim Wiesemeyer said President Biden’s first issue will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine distributed and implemented. Once the economy gets back into place, Wiesemeyer thinks Biden will address climate change. Immigration policy will also be top-of-mind and eventually, there will be tax increases. There is also another chance at improving infrastructure, including rural broadband.

Biden and Harris Confirmed by Congress

At of 2:42 AM Eastern Time on January 7, Congress affirmed the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. After two Democrats won in the Georgia Senate runoff, Biden will come into office with his party in control of both the House and Senate. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow will take over as the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Stabenow previously served in that capacity from 2011-to-2015.

Another Biden Leadership Pick is In

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce Michael Regan as the nominee for the EPA administrator. Regan currently serves as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Read more.

Biden Starts Picking Leadership

Former Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is the Biden transition team’s nominee to lead the USDA, but Vilsack wasn’t the only Cabinet nominee announced. Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge will lead the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Fudge was considered in the running to lead the USDA at one point. The U.S. Trade Representative will be Katherine Tai. Tai worked at USTR from 2007 to 2014, focusing on China trade issues. Currently, Tai is the chief trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee.