Democrats Delay Pruitt Confirmation for EPA; Republicans Strike Back

That meant that Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee could vote through the pick without any input from their Democrat colleagues.

Democrats again boycotted Thursday's meeting, but committee Republicans suspended rules requiring at least two minority-party members be present for a vote.

Barrasso pledged to move Pruitt's nomination "as expeditiously as possible", but he didn't say how and that he would not force a vote without the Democrats.

Capito, a longtime critic of the Obama administration's EPA, has backed Pruitt from the time he was nominated by President Donald Trump. He sued the EPA as Oklahoma's attorney general and was asked during his confirmation hearing on January 18 by Sen.

There is still no word as to when Pruitt will face a full Senate vote, the last step in confirmation. "That is why it is more important than ever that the full Senate must reject Scott Pruitt's confirmation in order to do right by American families". "We're going to have a meeting today and we're going to make sure that Scott Pruitt is advanced to the floor of the Senate".

It was the latest sign of political hostilities on Capitol Hill as Senate Democrats used parliamentary procedure to delay votes on some of Trump's Cabinet nominees and Republicans used their slim Senate majority to advance and approve them.

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. The Senate committee already approved Mr Trump's choice for health and treasury secretaries after the rules were suspended. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, another Democrat, and Senator Angus King of ME, a Democrat-leaning Independent, added their votes for Tillerson. "And his office has failed to respond to six public record requests filed by the Center for Media and Democracy, including one filed more than two years ago seeking his communications with coal, oil and gas companies", Surgey continued.

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.

Carper's letter to Barrasso on Monday said he and his Democratic colleagues were "deeply concerned" about the answers Pruitt gave in response to the senators' written questions. But Democrats would not relent, extending their protest of a nominee they say is an outright foe of the EPA's mission to protect the environment and human health.

  • Tracy Ferguson