George Goehl, director of the progressive group People’s Action, argued Tuesday that Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) would be the best choice for President-elect Joe Biden to nominate to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Goehl noted in an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising” that Fudge has been a fervent defender of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, and argued she would be the best pick to ensure access to the program amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The USDA, really, we think of it as a rural agency but first and foremost it’s a food policy agency,” Goehl said. “And in a pandemic when you’ve had millions of people lose their jobs, you’ve got record food lines both in urban and in rural communities, food policy is going to be critical.”
Goehl contrasted Fudge to former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who is also reportedly under consideration for USDA head and who has been criticized for accepting donations from large corporations that Goehl says profit at the expense of smaller-scale farmers.
Heitkamp, a more moderate Midwestern Democrat, worked on two farm bills while in Congress and has expressed an interest in the job. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently floated Heitkamp for the position, saying she’d “be able to get things done” for farmers even if control of Congress is divided come January.
“Marcia Fudge is like a longtime advocate, she’s an expert on food stamps, a fighter for expanding the SNAP program, and so that’s the kind of leadership we’d like to see in that program coming out of here,” Goehl said on Hill.TV.
“I think on the other end you’ve got Heitkamp whose donor list in many ways is a who’s who of the exact corporations that are ruining America, whether it’s big tech, big banks or big pharma, and so I think you’ve got a really clear choice about somebody who’s gonna fight for everyday people, or somebody who’s gonna fight for big [agriculture],” the People’s Action head added.
Watch part of Goehl’s interview above.