Tom Vilsack confirmed as USDA Secretary

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WASHINGTON — On Jan. 20, the Senate quickly approved six members of President Barack Obama's Cabinet, including Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture, according to The Associated Press. The Senate confirmed all six with a single-voice vote a little more than three hours after Obama took the oath of office to become the 44th president.

The other five who were confirmed include Steven Chu, energy secretary; Arne Duncan at education; Janet Napolitano for homeland security; Eric Shinseki to head veterans affairs; and Ken Salazar for interior. The Senate also approved Peter Orszag, recently the director of the Congressional Budget Office, to head the White House's Office of Management and Budget. Obama signed nominating papers for his Cabinet choices about an hour after he took the oath.

Former Iowa governor Vilsack had been atop a short list of candidates to the post. He is one of four members of the prospective Obama administration who had competed with the president-elect for the Democratic nomination. He dropped out before the primaries began and supported Senator Hillary Clinton until she conceded defeat.

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