President Joe Biden’s nominee for Agriculture Secretary faced the Senate Committee Tuesday to answer questions on why he should return to the job he once held.
Watch the hearing in the player above.
Tom Vilsack served for eight years under former President Barack Obama as Secretary of Agriculture.
Former aides to Vilsack said he felt the need to return to duty, in part out of loyalty to Biden, but also to reverse some of the moves made by President Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue.
Democrats have expressed concerns that the Trump administration has diminished rural development programs that were a priority for Vilsack and largely ignored measures to address climate change.
And many farmers have faced heavy economic losses due to Trump’s trade policies, though they still backed Trump in the election by large margins.
READ MORE: Meet Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks
Vilsack will have to do some healing among USDA’s many constituencies, as well, as some groups were hoping to see more diversity at the top. All but two agriculture secretaries in the last 120 years have been white men.
While the Obama administration, under Vilsack, paid out more than a billion dollars in a settlement with Black farmers who had been denied loans for generations, some groups say there are still challenges to be addressed.