Trump taps former Minden congressman for top EDA post

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(3/18/19) Former U.S. Rep. John Fleming of Minden was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Friday, after his early-March U.S. Senate confirmation as the new administrator of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

The four-term Republican U.S. Congressman served Louisiana’s 4th Congressional district from January 2009, to January 2017. He stepped down to run for the U.S. Senate seat in 2016, which became open after Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, who resigned after two terms in office.

In that race, Fleming finished in fifth place in a 24-person field with 11 percent of the voter. But Fleming wasn’t out of a job for long, as in March 2017, he was appointed deputy assistant secretary for Health Information Technology Reform in the Donald Trump administration.

Then, a little over a year later, in June 2018, Fleming was appointed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. His appointment was approved by a bipartisan vote in the U.S. Committee on Environment and Public Works in August, and on March 7, Fleming’s nomination was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 67-30. 

Fleming is a Navy veteran, physician, businessman and former Webster Parish coroner. 

According to a press release from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, as head of EDA, Fleming will be responsible for fulfilling the agency’s mission of leading the federal economic development agenda.

“John’s diverse experience as an entrepreneur, veteran, physician and former U.S. Congressman make him an excellent choice to lead EDA,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “I look forward to working with John on advancing the President’s economic agenda at the Department of Commerce.”

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