President Donald Trump's controversial nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency was confirmed by the Senate on Friday.
The Senate voted 52 to 46 in favor of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's nomination as EPA Administrator, with the vote largely coming down along party lines.
Senators Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Joe Manchin, D-W.V., were the only Democrats to vote to confirm Pruitt, while Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, was the lone Republican in opposition.
Democrats had sought to delay the confirmation vote after a federal judge ordered the Oklahoma Attorney General's office to release thousands of Pruitt's email communications with officials in the energy industry.
While Democrats argued the delay would provide time to review the emails, the motion failed in a party line vote.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., accused Democrats of engaging in political theater.
"These delay tactics do nothing to protect our environment or the health of Americans," Barrasso said. "They are wasting time, while the Environmental Protection Agency needs a new administrator."
"Attorney General Pruitt has protected the environment in his home state; he is endorsed by his peers, and has been thoroughly vetted for the job," he added. "He will make an excellent EPA administrator."
Environmental groups have been highly critical of Trump's nomination of Pruitt, a climate change skeptic who fought the EPA's regulations on carbon emissions.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called it extremely dangerous and inappropriate for someone with such radical environmental views to lead the EPA.
(Photo: Gage Skidmore)
by RTT Staff Writer
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