Senate confirmation hearings

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Dems Couldn't Stop It: Pruitt New Head of EPA

Oklahoma AG confirmed in 52-46 Senate vote

(Newser) - After a rough couple of days in the stocking of President Trump's administration, the Senate got back to business and pushed at least one more through. Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt will head the Environmental Protection Agency, the Hill reports, after a Friday Senate vote confirmed him 52-46. As promised... More »

GOP Senator Will Vote No on Trump's 'Dangerous' EPA Pick

Susan Collins has 'considerable doubts' about Scott Pruitt

(Newser) - One Republican senator is breaking ranks to vote against President Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, who has sued the EPA 14 times. Maine's Susan Collins says she "has significant concerns" about issues affecting her state that Scott Pruitt has opposed the EPA on, "... More »

Health Secretary Confirmed With No Democratic Votes

ObamaCare foe Tom Price passed in 52-47 vote

(Newser) - A man who wants to do things to ObamaCare that the Hippocratic oath might forbid him doing to a patient is now the top health official in America. Tom Price, a longtime Republican congressman from Georgia, was confirmed as the next Department of Health and Human Services secretary early Friday,... More »

GOP Advances 2 Nominees With No Democrats Present

After Democratic boycott, Finance Committee Republicans change the rules

(Newser) - Democrats found a way Tuesday to use the Senate's own rules to stall two of President Trump's Cabinet nominees. On Wednesday, Republicans retaliated in the simplest of ways: They changed those rules. As a result, the names of Treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin and Health and Human Services nominee... More »

Senate Sends Elaine Chao to Trump's Cabinet, 93-6

President's pick for transportation secretary sails through nomination

(Newser) - Republicans might be telling Democrats to "stop acting like idiots" in boycotting votes on some of President Trump's Cabinet picks, but it's been smooth sailing for one nominee: Elaine Chao will be the next secretary of Transportation after the Senate resoundingly confirmed her Tuesday on a 93-6... More »

GOP to Dems Skipping Cabinet Votes: 'Stop Acting Like Idiots'

Democrats want more information before votes for Mnuchin for Treasury, Price for HHS

(Newser) - Senate confirmation hearings for President Trump's Cabinet choices got heated Tuesday—or at least the ones that took place. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee angered not only by Trump's recent travel ban , but also by his firing of acting AG Sally Yates , forced votes Tuesday to be... More »

Tillerson Now Has 100% GOP Support

Marco Rubio falls in line just ahead of committee vote on secretary of state nominee

(Newser) - Sen. Marco Rubio will support Rex Tillerson as secretary of State "despite my reservations," reports the AP , backing away from any challenge to the new president. In a Facebook statement Monday, Rubio said he was troubled by Tillerson's refusal to acknowledge that Vladimir Putin has committed war... More »

Trump Health Pick 'Offended' by Questions About Stocks

Tom Price grilled by Franken, Warren

(Newser) - Donald Trump's choice for health secretary declared himself to be "offended" by Sen. Elizabeth Warren's questions about his investments during Wednesday's Senate Health Committee hearing. Warren was one of numerous Democrats who pressed Rep. Tom Price about his stock transactions in health care companies, the Washington ... More »

DeVos: Schools Might Need Guns to Defend Against Bears

She defends school choice in testy Senate hearing

(Newser) - Education Secretary hopeful Betsy DeVos was peppered with questions from time-limited Democrats during a testy Senate hearing Tuesday, and the exchange getting the most attention involves bears. When Sen. Chris Murphy asked if she believes that there's no place for guns in school, she referred to a school in... More »

McConnell on Lame-Duck SCOTUS Hearing: No Way

Senate majority leader isn't budging on Merrick Garland's nomination

(Newser) - The leader of the Republican-controlled Senate is ruling out the idea of considering President Obama's Supreme Court nominee after the November election, as one GOP colleague has suggested. "I can't imagine that a Republican majority Congress in a lame duck session after the American people have spoken... More »

AG Nominee Forced to 'Sit in Back of the Bus': Senator

Dick Durbin compares Loretta Lynch to Rosa Parks in delayed confirmation

(Newser) - Loretta Lynch is on the Senate back burner, waiting for confirmation as the new attorney general since her November nomination—first due to stalling over the president's immigration order, now over a human-trafficking bill, notes the Washington Post —and Sen. Dick Durbin isn't happy with the delay.... More »

Senate Confirms Brennan for CIA

Rand Paul's filibuster delayed it but didn't derail it

(Newser) - John Brennan has won Senate confirmation to head the CIA after a late struggle that had more to do with presidential power to order drone strikes than with the nominee's credentials to lead the spy agency. The vote this afternoon was 63-34. Brennan will replace Mike Morrell, the acting... More »

Senate Confirms Jack Lew to Be Treasury Chief

He succeeds Geithner, has pretty cool signature

(Newser) - The Senate confirmed Jacob ("Jack") Lew to be Treasury secretary, affirming President Obama's choice of a budget expert at a time when Congress and the White House are at odds over sharp government spending cuts. The Senate voted 71-26 to support the nomination. Lew, 57, who had... More »

Senate Confirms Hagel as Defense Chief

Move follows end of GOP filibuster

(Newser) - It took a few weeks longer than expected, but the Senate today approved Chuck Hagel to be the next defense secretary. The final vote—58-41, with four Republicans voting in favor—came after the GOP dropped its unprecedented delay of President Obama's choice to head the Pentagon. The former... More »

Graham: I'll Block Brennan, Hagel Over Benghazi

Wants White House to 'fess up on what happened

(Newser) - Lindsey Graham says he's ready to block the confirmations of both Chuck Hagel and John Brennan if President Obama isn't a little more forthcoming with what he knows about the Benghazi consulate attack. "No confirmation without information," he said today, adding that the confirmations shouldn't... More »

Brennan's CIA Hearing: How Dramatic Will It Get?

Drones, torture hang over proceedings

(Newser) - John Brennan will head to Capitol Hill today for his CIA confirmation hearing, and everyone's wondering the same thing: How dramatic is this going to get? Questions are hanging in the air about the Obama administration's drone strikes, classified information, and torture, but there's a chance lawmakers... More »

McCain, Hagel Spar Over Iraq

Defense nominee says he's still not sure the surge was worth it

(Newser) - Chuck Hagel got into a testy verbal sparring match with John McCain at his Armed Services Committee hearing today, with McCain demanding that Hagel admit he was wrong when he warned against the "surge" in Iraq. Hagel tried to prevaricate: "I would defer to the judgment of history,... More »

Chuck Hagel Hearing: What He'll Face

Unprecedented opposition campaign could make for an interesting vote

(Newser) - Chuck Hagel heads to Capitol Hill for his confirmation hearing today, and one thing we can say with confidence: It won't be a John Kerry-esque cakewalk . Hagel's facing skepticism and outright opposition from both sides of the aisle over past stances, particularly on Israel and nuclear proliferation. But... More »

Senate Committee Approves Kerry for State Gig

He'll go before the full Senate later today

(Newser) - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee surprised exactly no one today by putting its seal of approval on John Kerry's nomination for secretary of State nomination. It would have been quite the upset if Kerry hadn't gotten the committee's approval, given that he has sat on it for... More »

Obama: Warren Will Fight for Middle Class

President taps adviser to set up consumer protection agency

(Newser) - President Obama named Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren a special adviser today and tasked her with setting up a new agency to look out for consumers. Calling Warren "one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class," Obama said the new bureau would end abusive practices. "... More »

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