About This Source - Bloomberg QuickTake: Now
Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
It was founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981, with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar, and a 12% ownership investment by Merrill Lynch.
Recent from Bloomberg QuickTake: Now:
Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “LIVE: Kamala Harris Swears in Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture” – below is their description.
(Feb. 24) Watch live as Vice President Kamala Harris ceremonially swears in Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture virtually in the South Court Auditorium of the White House on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
The Senate confirmed Tom Vilsack as U.S. Agriculture Secretary, opening the way for the Biden administration to move forward with a farm agenda emphasizing climate change, equity for minority farmers and more food assistance for the poor.
Vilsack, well-known in Washington and the agriculture industry after serving eight years in the post under President Barack Obama, was confirmed 92-7 Tuesday after less than 15 minutes of debate in the Senate. Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who twice ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, voted against confirmation, along with six Republicans.
Some progressive groups and minority farm advocates have criticized Vilsack, saying he wasn’t aggressive enough in aiding Black farmers during the Obama administration and is too close to agribusiness interests.
Sanders told reporters afterward that he voted against Vilsack because “we need somebody a little bit more vigorous in terms of protecting family farms and taking on corporate agriculture.”
Vilsack, 70, stressed voluntary incentives to farmers to adopt more climate-friendly practices in his confirmation hearings and while campaigning on behalf of Biden during the presidential election campaign. Biden set a goal during the campaign for the U.S. to be the first country to cut its agriculture sector’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero.
Robert Bonnie, a senior climate adviser to the Biden USDA, suggested during the transition rapid funding for a so-called carbon bank that would pay farmers, foresters and ranchers for practices that sequester carbon. Bonnie said at a U.S. Agriculture Department forum last week that he anticipates the department will issue a report on climate policy in about 75 days.
The Biden USDA has embraced legislation proposed by newly elected Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia to include $5 billion for Black, Hispanic and Native American farmers in the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package. The funding would include $4 billion to help minority farmers pay off USDA loans and $1 billion to address systemic racism at the USDA.
Vilsack pledged during his confirmation hearings to “root out” a legacy of racism at the department, which settled a series of class-action lawsuits for discriminating against minority farmers in loan and aid programs over decades.
Biden disappointed some minority farming advocates in choosing Vilsack to run the department over House Agriculture Committee member Marcia Fudge, who openly campaigned to be the first Black woman to lead the department. Fudge was instead chosen as secretary for housing and urban development, a post that has often gone to minorities.
Biden has since moved to name minorities to key positions at USDA, including Virgina state agriculture commissioner Jewel Bronaugh to be the first Black woman to hold the department’s No. 2 position.
Vilsack has faced lingering bitterness for his role in the 2010 ouster of Shirley Sherrod, a Black woman who was then the USDA’s Georgia state director of rural development, after a conservative blogger posted an edited video of her purportedly expressing racist views. When an unedited video of the speech later surfaced verifying her claim that she was telling a story of racial healing, Vilsack offered to re-hire her but she declined.
The Biden administration also is seeking to extend a 15% increase in food stamp benefits, administered by the USDA, as part of its Covid relief package.
Vilsack will also have leeway to determine how to distribute some of the remaining farm aid included in previous Covid relief measures. The department suspended a $2.28 billion tranche of farm aid Trump authorized on his last full day in office so Vilsack could review the program and indicated the agency would soon announce additional relief measures for farmers.Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel
Got a comment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below. Please note comments are moderated before publication.
In This Story: Barack Obama
Barack Obama is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was the first African-American president of the United States. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.
Obama left office in January 2017 and continues to reside in Washington, D.C.
3 Recent Items: Barack Obama
In This Story: Bernie Sanders
Bernard Sanders is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007 and as U.S. Representative for the state’s at-large congressional district from 1991 to 2007. He is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history, although he has a close relationship with the Democratic Party, having caucused with House and Senate Democrats for most of his congressional career.
Sanders unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States in 2016 and 2020, finishing in second place in both campaigns.
3 Recent Items: Bernie Sanders
In This Story: Climate Change
Climate Change is the name commonly given to the notion that the Earth is undergoing a changing climate as a result of human activity, including notable leaders, scientists and naturalists including Sir David Attenborough.
Climate change includes both the global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns.
2 Recent Items: Climate Change
In This Story: COVID-19
Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
- a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
- shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)
Latest News about Covid-19
Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.
5 Recent Items: COVID-19
In This Story: Donald Trump
Donald John Trump was the 45th President of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School.