Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has committed to help get the hold lifted that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, put in place on USDA nominee Bill Northey, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters Tuesday.
Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, “had a conversation” with McConnell on getting Northey to be voted on by the U.S. Senate to be an undersecretary at USDA dealing with farm and conservation programs, an “important” role.
“When it comes to the farm bill, we need him in place,” Grassley said. “And from that standpoint, the leader said he would help move it along.”
It’s not clear what McConnell will do to get Cruz to lift his hold, Grassley said, adding that he and Ernst were clear in stating that it needs to happen no later than early December.
Cruz placed a hold on Northey’s nomination after EPA made commitments Grassley, Ernst and other farm-state senators not to change U.S. biofuel policy, including changes backed by Cruz. The Texas Republican has demanded a meeting with the White House on the biofuel policy issues, but that has not taken place.