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Northey entitled to Senate vote

It’s been seventy-five days since Texas Senator Ted Cruz placed a hold on an Iowan’s USDA Under Secretary nomination. Seventy-five days later, one question remains, “Is there an end in sight?”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) placed a hold on Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey’s nomination for USDA Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation October 25, 2017. Some believe a push to increase Renewable Fuel Standard volumes triggered the nomination hold.

Reuters reports staff members from Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) offices met with Senator Cruz last month to consider proposals designed to help the oil refining industry cope from the nation’s biofuels regulation. Senator Grassley reports the senators made progress during the discussion.

“We haven’t had any further discussions with Cruz, but we do have the proposed step in place,” Grassley said. “I don’t know whether it has been fleshed out to people within segments of the industry, to sit down and discuss what they can come up with.”

Grassley says Northey’s nomination should be dealt with aside from RFS conversations.

“We’re going to have to proceed separate from anything dealing with the RFS. Northey is entitled to an answer of when he is going to be dealt with in the United States Senate. So, we’re going to make that sort of approach,” Grassley said.