Sounds like the nomination of Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA could be voted on in the U.S. Senate this week. However, Democrats are still asking for a delay as they want to get his office emails sought in an open records request. They want to see communications between Pruitt and any oil and gas firms.
The top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware says they are still considering whether to hold an all-night session in opposition to Pruitt’s nomination. Depending on what the Democrats do, they could delay some of the votes for another week.
With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Democrats filed suit last week to force Pruitt’s office to release thousands of emails. An Oklahoma County judge expedited a hearing and set it to be held Thursday.
“These records are needed for the Senate to evaluate Mr. Pruitt’s suitability to serve in the position for what he has been nominated,” wrote the Democratic Senators in a statement.
Three more Democrats announced their opposition to Pruitt on Monday. They are Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) Mark Warner (Va.) and Chris Coons (Del.). Donnelly issued a statement stating, “I cannot support an EPA nominee who has sued the EPA to stop the sale of E15 and praised the erosion of a policy designed to strengthen our energy security and promote Hoosier-grown biofuels.”
North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she is still undecided on Pruitt.
But Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas isn’t happy about.
“If there’s some they want to fight over then we can fight over two or three, but this is all designed to undermine and to handicap the administration,” he told reporters. “Somebody mentioned to me this is really the equivalent of a government shutdown—that the Democrats are denying the president his Cabinet because they can’t begin the process of actually governing until they have the staff that’s necessary to do so.”