No deal was reached between Iowa's Senator Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Texas Senator Ted Cruz in their meeting with the president.
Senator Grassley says that's significant, but he didn't go in with the idea that they would reach a deal. Instead, they reminded President Trump of his commitment to maintaining the 15 billion gallon ethanol mandate with the RFS as well as his commitment to biofuels, agriculture, and rural America.
During the meeting Cruz, of his own accord, went ahead and released his hold on Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, according to Ernst. Northey is now confirmed as a USDA Under Secretary.
Grassley and Ernst both say they are unsure why Cruz released the hold.
However, shortly after the meeting, President Trump did tweet out his support for Cruz, "I want to encourage all of my many Texas friends to vote in the primary for Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton. They are helping me to Make America Great Again! Vote early or on March 6th."
Ernst maintains Northey was not a bargaining chip, "We do see it as a separate issue. It was not one that any of us, especially Bill Northey, was willing to negotiate. You know, his confirmation for something else. He had made that statement to us. So, we remain steadfast and hopefully our industry leaders can visit with the president and as well share their concerns about what's being proposed by Cruz."
Cruz is still pushing for changing the RFS as well as curbing RIN's, which he claims harms oil refineries.