The full U.S. Senate confirmed Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture on Tuesday.
The Senate voted 84-8 to approve her confirmation. All those who voted against Torres Small were Republicans.
Torres Small, a former member of Congress from New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, will now take over as a top member of the USDA.
Both of New Mexico’s U.S. Senators, Democrats Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, voted for Torres Small.
In a joint statement, the senators said the confirmation was “a proud day for New Mexico.”
“Throughout her time as Under Secretary for Rural Development and in Congress, we have been proud to work with Xochitl to deliver for New Mexico farmers, agricultural producers, and rural communities,” the Senators said. “We look forward to continuing our work together as she begins in this new leadership role.”
Torres Small has served in her role as USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development since October of 2021.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack applauded the Senate for the confirmation and praised Torres Small in a statement.
“At this critical time when USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are laser-focused on mobilizing historic investments to rebuild our economy and secure healthier, more vibrant communities for future generations, I am grateful to have Xochitl’s partnership at the helm of the People’s Department,” Vilsack said. “She has time and again met the moment with a collaborative approach and a can-do spirit, and I applaud Congress for confirming her as USDA’s next Deputy Secretary.”
Torres Small represented New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District for one term, starting in 2019. She lost her reelection campaign in 2020 to Republican Yvette Herrell in a rematch of the 2018 campaign.