Trump’s EPA pick gets a boost but is still opposed by Senate Democrats

By Stuart Leavenworth, McClatchy DC.

President Donald Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to lead the U.S. Environment Protection Agency got a lift Monday when the chair of a key Senate committee declared that the Oklahoma attorney general had been “comprehensively vetted,” and was in need of no further questioning. 

“Attorney General Pruitt has had a very thorough confirmation process,” said John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in a statement. “At his nomination hearing, Mr. Pruitt answered significantly more questions than any past EPA administrator has. He has been comprehensively vetted and has demonstrated his qualifications to lead the EPA.”

It is not known when the Senate might vote on Pruitt, but it is unlikely to come in the next two days, when GOP lawmakers are slated to attend a retreat in Philadelphia. 

Pruitt’s opponents haven’t given up efforts to derail Pruitt’s nomination. Several Senate Democrats have raised questions about the numerous lawsuits Pruitt has filed against the agency he would lead, along with his involvement in fundraising from oil and gas companies that stand to benefit from his lawsuits.