Politico reported this afternoon that President Biden will nominate former New Mexico US Representative Xochitl Torres Small to a top administration post overseeing a huge catalog of federal loan and grant programs supporting rural housing, utilities and rural communities.
The White House is planning to announce on Friday that Biden will nominate former Rep. XOCHITL TORRES SMALL (D-N.M.) to be undersecretary of rural development at the Department of Agriculture, according to two sources familiar with the plans.
It’s a restoration of a job that was effectively done away with in the Trump administration. Agriculture Secretary SONNY PERDUE tried to eliminate the Senate-confirmed undersecretary position in 2017 and then left it vacant even after the 2018 farm bill reinstated it.
Torres Small is the second lawmaker who lost reelection last year whom Biden has moved to add to the administration, along with former Rep. GIL CISNEROS (D-Calif.), whom he nominated in April to be under secretary of Defense for personnel and readiness. The White House declined to comment.
The US Department of Agriculture’s rural development programs employ approximately 4,600 employees who oversee $16 billion in federal funds to encourage private investment in rural communities and to support rural economic development, including almost 100 different grant and loan programs.
Torres Small defeated Yvette Herrell in 2018 to flip New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional district from Republican to Democratic leadership. In 2020, Herrell defeated Torres Small, denying her a second term in Congress.