Hoeven Statement on Confirmation of Thomas Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after voting to confirm Thomas Vilsack as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Hoeven and Vilsack served together as governors, and also worked together when Vilsack previously served as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary. 

“Our farmers and ranchers are the best in the world and continue to provide food, fuel and fiber despite these challenging times. We need to ensure that USDA continues to support them and keeps advancing the CFAP, QLA and other assistance that our producers have been promised,” Hoeven said. “During his confirmation process, Secretary Vilsack committed to keep these programs moving forward. Secretary Vilsack and I have worked together in the past, and going forward we will work to ensure that our producers have the support they need.” 

During Vilsack’s recent confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven pressed Vilsack to: 

  • Deliver the $13 billion in agriculture assistance appropriated by Congress in the year-end legislation and finish distributing the remaining funds under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
  • Follow through on the recently-finalized Quality Loss Assistance (QLA) program that Hoeven advanced to help producers recover from quality losses due to natural disasters in 2018 and 2019.
    • The senator also secured an additional $1.5 billion for the Wildfire, Hurricane and Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) and QLA in Fiscal Year 2021 Ag Appropriations to ensure program funding is sufficient to meet demand from producers.
  • Safeguard Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funding for the USDA to administer the programs required by the Farm Bill, like Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).
    • Hoeven also stressed that any new carbon reduction programs, like a carbon bank, needs to be farmer-friendly and benefit producers directly.
  • Improve competition and price transparency in livestock markets.