The Senate voted Friday to confirm Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ushering in what are likely to be dramatic changes to the agency.
The 52-46 vote was almost along party lines. All Republicans except Sen. Susan Collins(R-Maine) voted for Pruitt, while all Democrats except Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) voted against him.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did not vote due to a military conference he is attending in Germany. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) also did not vote.
Much has been has made of his suing EPA in his role as Oklahoma's AG. Suing EPA is a cottage industry on the left as well. Called "Sue and Settle" it is a means for EPA to achieve in the courts what the legislature has not granted it in law. By encouraging various NGOs to sue them to accomplish their shared goals, and not bothering to defend against the suit, they get the court to mandate that which the Congress has not intended. I would be very surprised if Obama's EPA director, Gina McCarthy, had not been involved in some such suits before ascending to the high chair at EPA.
Pruitt’s confirmation came despite repeated pleas from Democrats to delay the vote due to ongoing litigation regarding emails that a liberal group had requested from the office of Pruitt, who is Oklahoma’s attorney general — a position he will leave when he is sworn in as EPA administrator.
Republicans said Pruitt will bring much-needed change to an agency that exemplifies eight years of executive overreach by the administration of former President Obama.
“The nominee before us … thinks it’s time for the EPA to get back to the clean air and clean water business instead, and to do so with an appreciation for the complexity of our modern world,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor.
Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: In Like A Lioness" up and running at The Other McCain.