Pruitt Passes Out of Senate Committee-Full Senate Must Reject Him

"I am disappointed that our majority has made a decision to ignore our concerns and those of the American people, and break the committee's rules in an effort to expedite Mr. Pruitt's nomination, but we have to stand our ground in our pursuit of the truth and in fulfillment of our Constitutional duty with respect to nominations", ranking member Tom Carper (D-DE) said in a statement.

With no Democrats in the room, U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sen. Barrasso chided his rebellious colleagues across the aisle, saying he took the "extraordinary step" of suspending several rules for the day because of the boycott.

The Senate parliamentarian had ruled that Thursday's procedure was proper under the the body's rules, Barrasso said, though he added that Democrats' boycott had "put us in...uncharted waters". Kurt Walters, campaign director of the left-wing group Demand Progress, justified the "radical and bold tactics" of the Democrat senators by arguing that Trump "lost" the popular vote to Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and is pushing a "radical, unconstitutional agenda".

Earthjustice Vice of Policy and Legislation, Martin Hayden, issued the following statement calling on the Senate to reject Pruitt's nomination.

The hostilities between Republicans and Democrats in Congress are showing no signs of easing - with Republicans pushing two of President Donald Trump's nominees through a Senate committee today even though Democrats were boycotting.

As Oklahoma's Attorney General, Pruitt sued the federal EPA 14 times, challenging regulations from the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) to the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the Clean Power Plan. "We believe these inquiries, and our questions for the record, elicit information from the nominee that he possesses and that he should be able to provide to the committee", the ranking Democrat, Sen.

"It's unacceptable and sets a risky precedent for the committee to allow him to stonewall on these important questions", said Sen. They also move to the full Senate without a Democratic vote. "We are deeply concerned that senators are being directed by a nominee to obtain information on his record outside of the confirmation process - especially given that the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General has a two-year backlog on such record requests", Carper wrote.

If all the Republicans hold together, Trump's picks will all be confirmed, as the Republicans hold 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate.

It is the second day that the Republicans have used rules that they wrote themselves to force through cabinet picks that would otherwise have been challenged by Democrats. Unless Republicans change this rule, too, the nominations must be on the Senate Executive Calendar for a minimum of 24 hours before the nominations go to the Senate floor for a vote.

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