Changing of Obama's cabinet

Published on: May 24, 2013

The Senate continues the process of considering nominees for cabinet-level positions.

Ernest Moniz, a physics professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was confirmed as Energy Secretary last week.

Gina McCarthy, an EPA official nominated to be head of the Agency, was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, though her nomination faces a hold on the Senate floor.

Nomination hearings were held during the week of May 20 for President Barack Obama’s picks for Transportation Secretary, Charlotte, N.C., mayor Anthony Foxx, and Commerce Secretary, Chicago-based businesswoman Penny Pritzker.

Also this week a total of 20 farm groups and ag stakeholders have written to President Barack Obama in support of the nomination of Jason Weller to be Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Weller has been serving as acting chief since December. The letter states, "…we believe it is important for NRCS and for farmers’ and ranchers’ conservation efforts that his appointment as Chief be finalized as soon as possible. There is much to be done in support of conservation in agriculture and we are ready to work with Mr. Weller to this end."

Weller previously served as acting associate chief for conservation and as chief of staff at NRCS; he also worked for the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.