The Senate Agriculture Committee has approved President Donald Trump's pick for agriculture secretary, moving the nomination to the Senate floor.
The panel backed former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on a voice vote on Thursday.
In his confirmation hearing last week, Perdue stressed that he has worked with Democrats in the past and sought to reassure farm-state senators in both parties who are fearful about the impact of President Donald Trump's proposed deep cuts to farm programs.
He also told senators concerned about Trump's trade agenda that "trade is really the answer" for farmers dealing with low crop prices. He said he would be a "tenacious advocate and fighter" for rural America when dealing with the White House and other agencies.