Brashears and two others for top USDA jobs clear nomination hearing


By Dan Flynn, Food Safety News by Marler Clark

November 29, 2018


Were it not for rules prohibiting a committee vote on the same day as the nomination hearing, the appointment of Mindy Brashears as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety likely would have already been sent to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a confirmation vote.


The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry heard the nominations of Brashears, Scott Hutchins, and Naomi Earp in a breezy session lasting less than two hours on Wednesday morning. When it was over, Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, predicted the committee would shortly vote to recommend the full Senate confirm all three appointments.


Roberts gave committee members until 5 p.m. EST Wednesday to submit written questions to the nominees. President Trump nominated Brashears to the federal government’s top food safety job last May 4, Hutchins was nominated as Under Secretary for Research. Education, and Economics; and Earp as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.


Roberts opened the hearing on the three nominations are critical to USDA’s mission across the department’s 29 agencies that involve 100,000 employees.


No mention was made of the fact that it has been just days short of five years since a presidential appointee with Senate confirmation has been Under Secretary for Food Safety. Roberts did say...