In a surprise move, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss and Ranking Member Tom Harkin have agreed to make the nomination of Iowa-native Tom Dorr for the top Rural Development directly to the Senate for confirmation.
In an April 27th hearing Dorr, who was previously denied confirmation in 2002, was thoroughly questioned by Harkin, D-Iowa. Dorr, of northwest Iowa, was unable to garner the needed 60 votes in the Senate in 2002, because of criticism led by Harkin about comments he had made about racial ethnicity and issues cited about structuring his farming operations to avoid payment limitations.
The Senate will be asked to vote on the confirmation of Dorr, forgoing a planned Committee vote that was scheduled for May 17th. Chambliss and Harkin intend to seek unanimous consent by the Senate to discharge from the Agriculture Committee. They plan to place the vote on the Executive Calendar for the nomination of Dorr to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development and to be a member of the board of the Commodity Credit Corporation.