President Trump’s pick to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) chief scientist is on track to face one of the rougher confirmation battles of the administration.
Democrats are girding for an all-out battle against Sam Clovis’s nomination to be USDA’s under secretary for research, education and economics, a position that would see him overseeing billions of dollars in research spending and serving as a cross-departmental science czar.
Clovis, a close Trump ally from Iowa who served as a key campaign adviser on rural and agricultural issues, has set off Democrats’ alarms for a number of reasons.
Clovis has been criticized for lacking scientific credentials, and he disagrees with the scientific consensus on climate change. Further complicating Clovis’s confirmation process, CNN uncovered a number of objectionable statements he has made on topics like race and politics.
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