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Five takeaways from Pruitt’s EPA hearing:
Republicans only need 50 votes to confirm him, and there have been no signs of GOP defections. Here are five takeaways from his confirmation hearing [The Hill].
Trump picks Perdue for agriculture secretary, ending historically long search:
After the longest search for an USDA chief in modern history, President-elect Donald Trump will nominate for agriculture secretary former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, a longtime rural agribusinessman who originally trained as a veterinarian [Agri-Pulse].
Senate seeks deal on Trump nominees:
Senate leaders are negotiating a deal that could allow votes on a number of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks on the day of his inauguration [The Hill].
Pruitt speaks publicly on RFS, WOTUS (audio):
Wednesday marked a number of confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill, including one for Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency [Agri-Pulse].
Final organic animal welfare rule issued with little change:
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service on Wednesday detailed the final organic animal welfare rule it will release this week, and the finished product looks awfully similar to its previous proposal [Agri-Pulse].
USDA announces stricter animal welfare rules for eggs, meat:
The regulations will ensure that organically grown livestock have enough space to lie down, turn around, stand up and fully stretch their limbs [AP].
The Road Ahead: Rural schools hope to be valued by rural-focused president:
Towns like Alex fit the description of the type of community President-elect Donald Trump heavily courted during his campaign, speaking regularly of a desire to reignite rural towns and regions where tough economic times have been hard to shake [NewsOK].
Another year, another budget hole for lawmakers to address:
The 2017 fiscal year deficit, as well as last year’s $1.3 billion shortfall and $611 million one the year before, are all due to lower revenue from oil and natural gas production and the impact of various tax cuts and deductions [AP].
Outlook: Trump brings opportunity, uncertainty to agribusiness:
The new year is shaping up to be a busy one for agriculture policy makers and stakeholders, with work on a new farm bill beginning, major rulemaking in the pipeline and an incoming administration that has pledged to roll back regulations across the board [Bloomberg].