USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue testified before Congress this week that the process to appoint people to key Department positions is proceeding slowly, and some appointees may not get confirmed until after the August recess.

According to, several nominees are undergoing background checks by the FBI and Office of Government Ethics, but Perdue said, “there doesn’t seem to be a lot of urgency in those areas to get people cleared.”

Subcommittee chairman John Hoeven, North Dakota Republican, said 15 executive posts at USDA are vacant and await White House nomination.

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