Sen. Ted Cruz holding up Bill Northey's USDA vote

Politico today is reporting that Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey's nomination to a senior USDA post is being held up by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

The poltical website and magazine reports that Senators Cruz and Mike Lee both put holds on the final vote in the Senate on Northey's nomination to the USDA.  Lee reportedly lifted his hold by Wednesday afternoon.

Holding up the Northey nomination, Politico says, is retaliation for the strong-arm tactics that some Senators say that the Iowa Senate delegation...Senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley...used on the EPA to ensure the EPA backed down on proposed rules that would have lowered the volume of mandated renewable fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Senator Joni Ernst tells WHO Radio News that the hold was confirmed to her by Senator Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Ernst calls Senator Cruz's hold "petty".  

Some groups say that Ernst herself has put a hold on a deputy EPA administrator nominee. But Ernst staff says there have been no holds placed by the Iowa senator.

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