Senator Ted Cruz has been blocking nominee in protest against the Renewable Fuel Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar joined Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) on the Senate floor in support of Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey’s nomination of U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a vocal opponent of the Renewable Fuel Standard, has placed a hold on Northey’s nomination as leverage in negotiations about federal ethanol requirements.

“The absence of an under secretary for this critical mission area also has a domino effect that is leaving important USDA Agencies without leadership and without guidance. This is not good governance,” Klobuchar said. “This is a qualified nominee. The Senate should not be a place where someone of this qualification should be blocked for this important position just as we’re considering the Farm Bill and just as we’re dealing with disaster recovery all over the nation including places like Texas, like Florida. I just don’t believe in this scorched earth policy. I believe – like we do on the Agriculture Committee – we work things out, we may have differences of opinion, but we let people fill an important position like this.”

Broadcast-quality video of Klobuchar’s remarks in the hearing are available here: KLOBUCHAR_FS_020718P.mp4

For years, Klobuchar has led a bipartisan push for the EPA to release a stronger RFS to support American jobs and decrease dependence on foreign oil. Last November, the former Administration released a stronger final rule for 2018, which will require a record amount of biofuel to be mixed into our transportation fuel supply next year. Minnesota’s twenty ethanol plants and three biodiesel plants generate roughly $5 billion in combined economic output and have made our state the fourth-largest ethanol producing state in the country.