The former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the secretary of agriculture. The move has left all but one of President Donald Trump's Cabinet positions filled.
Perdue’s confirmation was marked by the 87 to 11 vote in favor of Perdue. The former Governor will take office as the agricultural community deals with key issues on trade and immigration.
Despite concerns from some Midwestern senators who claimed that Perdue was not from a major agricultural production state, the nomination had passed the Senate Agriculture Committee with only one vote in opposition.
Perdue was nominated by Trump back in January. However, confirmation of his progress was slow, the media reports suggested that fixing his various business messes caused delays in the ethics filings.
Perdue did not file his disclosure forms until mid-March.
The declining farm economy needs the trade for it to revive itself. This comes as incomes have been falling with lower grain prices. The farm incomes in 2016 were expected to have hit their lowest levels since 2009.
Farmers are concerned about the tough immigration rules which could make it harder to find labor while raising costs. Based on the fact that agriculture relies heavily on seasonal and casual labor. President Trump has raised tensions on immigration with his pledge to build a wall at the Mexican-U.S. border.
The new agriculture secretary of state holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine and was raised on a dairy farm. Purdue is the first agriculture secretary from a southern state since Mike Espy of Mississippi, who served from January 1993 to December 1994.
Statistics shows that the state of Georgia accounted for just 2 percent of total U.S. agriculture exports in 2015. However, President Donald Trump still has one Cabinet nominee by the name Alexander Acosta for labor secretary. Purdue’s confirmation sets him up as the 9th federal government official in President Trump’s line of succession.
Presidential line of succession is the set order of United States federal government officials who may become or act as President of the United States. This would be as a result of the President becoming incapacitated, death, resignation, or removal from office.
The United States Constitution and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 outline the line of succession which was later on amended to include newly created cabinet officers.
The succession follows the order of Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, and the cabinet, which currently has fifteen members, beginning with the Secretary of State. The Cabinet officers are in line based on the chronological order of their department's creation.