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No confirmation vote taken on deputy ag secretary nomination

Xochitl Torres Small is expected to receive bipartisan support to become the next deputy ag secretary for USDA.

The Senate Ag Committee didn’t vote on her confirmation Wednesday, but Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said, “Your impressive and wide-ranging background makes you an ideal candidate to help lead the nearly 100,000 public servants USDA has stationed at more than 4,500 locations.”

Iowa Republican Joni Ernst says Torres Small has a proven track record in her role as Under Secretary for Rural Development. “I think we need a lot more women like you,” Ernst said, “serving in agriculture and making sure our farmers and ranchers aren’t just simply surviving but thriving.”

Minnesota Democrat Tina Smith says Torres Small would be a great ambassador for agriculture. “Particularly, your commitment to get out of Washington and get around the country to listen to people and talk to people,” Smith said.

Kansas Republican Roger Marshall says he plans to support the nomination. “We know you will do a great job,” Marshall said. “I just look forward to continuing the relationship and working together.”

Stabenow says the record will remain open until 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday.

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