Tom Vilsack

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These Are Likely Clinton's Top 2 VP Choices

Will it be Tom or Tim?

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is narrowing the field of possible running mates, with Democrats predicting she'll reveal her pick as soon as Friday. The front-runners? Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, report CNN and the Washington Post . Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, retired four-star Navy Adm. James Stavridis,... More »

How the USDA Hacked the Sequester

Tom Vilsack got $55M in new money for meat inspectors

(Newser) - There's no way to get out of the sequester's mandatory budget cuts, right? Wrong—at least for the USDA. Just three weeks after the sequester hit, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack found a way around it, snagging $55 million in new money for meat inspectors—just about the same... More »

Graham: 'Hats Off to the President'

Says Obama stuck to his guns, will get tax hike on rich

(Newser) - President Obama wasn't the only show on the Sunday dial today : On the eve of the fiscal cliff, Lindsey Graham was upbeat about the chances of a deal, telling Fox News they were "exceedingly good." "Hats off to the president," said Graham, according to Politico... More »

Food Prices Could Jump 4% in 2013

And losses could hit $12B

(Newser) - For the average consumer, the effects of this year's brutal drought are still months away, but they are coming, as many food prices next year are expected to jump by as much as 4%, reports Reuters . Already corn and soy prices are going up , which is expected to lead... More »

Farmers Fret as USDA Shuts Hundreds of Offices

Critics worry move will compromise public safety

(Newser) - The US Department of Agriculture announced plans to close 259 offices, labs, and other facilities yesterday, in a move that will save the agency $150 million per year. But the announcement has some farmers and food safety experts worried, the AP reports. "They wiped out the entire Midwest,"... More »

Emails Prove Sherrod Axing Too Hasty

Panicked officials didn't wait to get full story

(Newser) - Obama administration officials didn't bother to get all the facts before forcing Shirley Sherrod out of her Agriculture Department job, internal emails obtained by the Los Angeles Times show. After learning that a video that painted her as a racist had surfaced, officials moved swiftly to can Sherrod in time... More »

Shirley Sherrod to USDA: No, Thanks

Ousted official declines return to Ag Dept

(Newser) - Just a month after she was unceremoniously hustled out the revolving doors at the Agriculture Department, Shirley Sherrod has declined an invitation back in. Sherrod met this morning with Tom Vilsack, who offered her a position aimed at improving the USDA's civil rights record. Sherrod said that while she was... More »

Ag Secretary Personally Apologizes to Sherrod

She's considering a job offer from him

(Newser) - At this point, who can blame Shirley Sherrod if she wants to make the government stew a little? Agriculture chief Tom Vilsack said he personally called the ousted USDA employee today to apologize and offer her a new job, reports CNN . She was "extraordinarily gracious," said Vilsack, but... More »

USDA Reconsiders Axing 'Racist' Worker

Vilsack 'considering additional facts'

(Newser) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is reconsidering the USDA's decision to oust a black employee over racially tinged remarks after learning more about what she said. Vilsack will "conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts" about his decision to ask Shirley Sherrod to resign. Sherrod criticized the administration for... More »

Virus-Wary Egypt to Destroy All 300K Pigs

USDA says American pork is safe; Russia, China ban imports

(Newser) - The Egyptian government says it will immediately slaughter the country’s entire population of 300,000 pigs to protect against the swine flu, the AP reports. Egypt has stressed that it has no reported cases of the virus, though two infections have been confirmed in neighboring Israel. The move comes... More »

Obama's Cabinet Picks Open Door for GOP Comeback

(Newser) - Republicans have found a glimmer of hope for the 2010 elections and it’s all thanks to one man: Barack Obama. In assembling his high-powered Cabinet, the president has plucked rising Democratic stars out of several now-competitive races, the LA Times reports. Ken Salazar’s appointment throws his Colorado seat... More »

Stimulus to Bulk Up Food Stamps

Caseloads up dramatically; bill to offer $16B to $20B in support

(Newser) - The stimulus package set to pass Congress contains a measure to boost food stamp benefits by billions of dollars, reports NPR. The $16 billion to $20 billion increase—which would mean up to $79 more a month for a family of four—is a response to a drastic rise in... More »

7 Nominees Confirmed; Clinton Vote Tomorrow

(Newser) - The Senate met after the inauguration today and promptly confirmed seven of President Obama’s nominees by unanimous vote, with the notable exception of Hillary Clinton, the Chicago Tribune reports. A vote on Clinton has been scheduled for tomorrow after Harry Reid and Sen. John Cronyn, who has concerns about... More »

Feds May Use Food Stamps to Improve Nutrition

Food stamp and school lunch programs could be revamped to encourage nutrition

(Newser) - The Obama White House may move to revamp food aid so it encourages healthy eating, reports the Washington Post. One idea gaining favor: Double the value of food stamps if they're used to buy fruits and vegetables. While anti-hunger advocates have long objected to such government meddling, opposition is softening... More »

Obama Adds Centrists Salazar, Vilsack to Cabinet

Salazar brings centrist cred to the team

(Newser) - Barack Obama added Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack to his growing list of Cabinet appointments today, tapping the noted centrists as secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture respectively. “It is time for a new kind of leadership in Washington that's committed to using our lands in a responsible way,... More »

Obama to Pick Iowa Ex-Gov. Vilsack for Agriculture

(Newser) - Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack will be Barack Obama's pick for agriculture secretary, CNN reports. Obama is expected to make the announcement tomorrow. Vilsack himself briefly ran for president before dropping out and campaigning for Hillary Clinton. As a two-term governor, Vilsack backed renewable energy and sought to develop the... More »

Iowa First Lady Backs Edwards

Abandoning neutrality, Culver supports 'electable' candidate

(Newser) - Iowa’s first lady backed John Edwards today but said her husband would steer clear of endorsements, the Des Moines Register reports. "I'm my own person," said Mari Culver, wife of Gov. Chet Culver. "I have my own political interests." Tom Vilsack similarly stayed above the... More »

Is Hillary Eyeing Evan Bayh as Potential Veep?

Indiana senator boasts solid legislative and executive experience

(Newser) - When Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday, they looked suspiciously like a ticket, says Politico's Roger Simon, speculating that Bayh could be the front-runner’s running mate if she wins the Democratic primary. Bayh was a two-term governor of Indiana before joining the Senate, giving him a rare... More »

18 Stories