Washington

Obama Nominates Adelstein To Head Agriculture Department's Rural Utilities Service

Department has $2.5 billion in broadband stimuls grants to hand out 3/20/2009 06:25:57 PM Eastern

President Barack Obama has nominated Democratic FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein to head the Agriculture Department's Rural Utilities Service, which has $2.5 billion in broadband stimuls grants to hand out.
That is according to the latest list from the White House of key administration appointments.

A source close to Adelstein had told B&C he was interested in the job and excited by the prospect of appointment.
Adelstein's likely successor to that Democratic seat is Mignon Clyburn. Clyburn is a South Carolina public service commissioner and daughter of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who sources say has already been vetted for the post by the administration.

Adelstein would be administrator of the RUS program. The White House gave Adelstein props for "efforts to improve rural telecommunication s and broadband" while at the commission.

Adelstein had been on the commission for six years, and rather than stick around in a similar capacity–which likely was not an option anyway–he was said to be looking forward to the challenge of managing several hundred people in a program furthering a key Obama administration goal.

The announcement Friday was just an "intent to nominate." The nomination must still be sent to the Senate, then vetted in committee and voted on by the full body.
The nomination of Julius Genachowski has yet to make it to the Senate, which may be because the adminstration wants to do a package deal with Clyburn and a Republican to fill the seat vacated by Deborah Taylor Tate last July.
In a statement, the president said of the latest crop of nominees, which also included posts at Energy, State, Labor and Homeland Security: "This group of public servants joins my administration at a critical time in our nation’s history. As we work to rebuild our economy, achieve energy independence and keep American strong at home and abroad, I will rely on their trusted counsel and extensive experience on the issues. I look forward to working with them in the months ahead.”

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