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Senate Committee Approves Scott Pruitt for EPA

February 17, 2017
New York Times
Coral Davenport

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans pressed forward on Thursday with the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee to head the  Environmental Protection AgencyScott Pruitt, suspending the Environment and Public Works Committee’s rules to approve the cabinet pick despite a Democratic boycott.

The 11-0 vote sends the nomination to the full Senate, where Mr. Pruitt will most likely be approved next week.

The move was one of several to break the logjam on Mr. Trump’s incoming team. Party line votes in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Budget Committee also advanced the nomination of Representative Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina to be the White House budget director, despite deep concerns among Democrats — and some Republicans — over his tightfisted spending record.

Senators on Thursday teed up what could be a week of rapid-fire confirmations, taking procedural votes to move forward with the nominations of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be attorney general, Representative Tom Price of Georgia to be secretary of health and human services, and Steven T. Mnuchin to be Treasury secretary.

Those confirmation votes are expected to come early next week, after a white-knuckled vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be education secretary. With two Republican senators opposing Ms. DeVos, her confirmation hangs by a single vote. In a procedural quirk, Mr. Sessions’s confirmation vote is scheduled after that of Ms. DeVos so he can vote “yes” before he leaves the Senate.

Mr. Mulvaney and Mr. Pruitt also appeared headed for confirmation next week. Read the rest of the article here

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