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Perino Tells 'Dairy Strong' Delegation that WOTUS is Dead
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/19/2017

Not many people have been closer to the inner workings of the U.S. government than Dana Perino. And the former White House press secretary under George W. Bush told Wisconsin dairy producers that the new administration has an ambitious agenda that will likely impact the nation's agricultural industry in many ways. Perino was the keynote speaker during the Dairy Business Association's Dairy Strong Conference in Madison on Wednesday, where she said reversing some of President Obama's executive orders will be among the first things on Donald Trump's to-do list.

"I expect a lot of President Obama's initiatives to be undone--with the Affordable Care Act being one of the first items of business," said Perino, who now co-hosts The Five on the Fox News Channel. "And though it won't happen right away, you can also expected the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) bill to be 'dead on arrival.'"

When asked if she had any insight on who the next agriculture secretary will be, Perino said she didn't have any solid information, but said she wouldn't be surprised if the next USDA chief comes from the southeastern part of the country. Less than 12 hours later, former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue was announced as Trump's choice.

"Most people don't realize how huge the agricultural industry is in this country; both in terms of size and its diversity," she said. "The USDA as an agency controls more than just agriculture. All of the nation's food and nutrition programs are also ran through the department."

Perino spent much of her own childhood on her grandparents' farm in Wyoming, where she rode horses and did farm chores. It was there where her grandfather pounded into his family's heads that 'we are no better than anyone else,' something Dana kept in mind during her years working in the West Wing.

"I'm proof that you don't have to grow up on the east coast or go to an Ivy League school to serve as an advisor to the President of the United States," she remarked. "I often tell this to young people, because they need to believe they can grow up to do great things."

With Trump's inauguration just hours away, Perino said it's important to remember that no president can predict what's going to happen during their reign in office.

"All presidents have to expected the unexpected. Carter didn't foresee Iran taking American hostages. George H.W. Bush had no idea he was going to be fighting a war in the Middle East. And George W. Bush had to face 9/11."

Looking ahead, the former White House aid foresees tax reform, immigration and a new Supreme Court justice nominee to be some of the hot issues in Trump's first 100 days.

Perino has published several books and is a frequent commentator on various television news programs.

The Dairy Strong conference wraps up on Thursday at the Monona Terrace.

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