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  Senate EPW Committee Suspends Rules to Advance EPA Nomination  CSPAN  February 2, 2017 10:43am-10:55am EST

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the committee is called to order. we are reconvening our business meeting to consider nomination of attorney general scott pruitt to be epa administrator. yesterday the minority members of the committee chose to boycott this business meeting. it is disappointing that they chose that course of action. we will not allow it to obstruct. as i stated yesterday this committee has conducted an
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extremely thorough and fair process of reviewing attorney general's pruitt's nomination. that includes hearing of length, number of kwegs and timely responses. it is unprecedented to delay for incoming president to this extent. we had an election last november. the people spoke and now it is time to set up a functioning government. that includes a functioning epa. to do that this committee has to do its work. so at this time i ask for a motion to suspend rules 2 a, 4 and 8 of the rules of the environment and public works committee for the duration of this business meeting. >> i so move. >> is there a second? >> all those in favor. all opposed nay. and the opinion of the chair the ayes have it and rules 2 a, 4 and 8 of rules of committee are
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suspended for the duration of this business meeting. at this time i would like to call up presidential nomination 44 scott pruitt of oklahoma to be administrator of the environmental protection agency. can i have a motion to approve and report the nomination favorably to the senate? >> i so move. >> is there a second? on this matter i ask for a recorded vote. the clerk will call the roll. [ inaudible ]. >> ms. harris.
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>> the nomination of attorney general scott pruitt to be epa administrator is approved and reported. next i would like to call up the committee funding resolution which funds for march 1 through february 28 of 2019 in three financial periods reflecting the funding levels, the rules committee assigned. do any senators seek to -- can i have a motion to approve and
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report the resolution to the senate? >> i so move. >> is there a second? >> all those in favor please say aye. opposed nay. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it and it is approved and reported. next i would like to consider the committee rules. do any senators seek recognition? can i have a motion to adopt the committee rules for the 115th congress? >> i so move. >> is there a second? all those in favor please say aye. opposed nay. in the opinion of the chairs the ayes have it and committee rules are adopted. let me make clear to everyone what just happened. yesterday the minority members of the committee chose to boycott our business meeting because they do not support the nomination of scott pruitt. as we pointed out yesterday, elections have consequences and a new president is entitled to put in place people who will advance his agenda.
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the agenda that the people voted for when they elected him president. today we suspended several of the rules of the epw committee for this business meeting only. we took this extraordinary step because the minority members of the committee took the extraordinary step of boycotting the business meeting to approve an epa administrator for an incoming administration. we have been in consultation with the senate parliamentarian and she has informed us that the procedure we have followed today is proper under the senate rules and no point of order will lie against the pruitt nomination. the minority has put us in this unchartered waters. never before in the history of the epa has a new president incoming administration nominee been boycotted. the last three nominees were all confirmed by the end of january. yesterday, february 1, the
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minority block even having a vote in committee of the nominee. attorney general pruitt sat through the longest epa nomination hearing in history. the history. and the fact that he did not answer questions is a smoke screen. let me be clear. the leadership of the minority chose to do a blanket boycott of many of the president's nominees in committees across the senate regardless of their merit. the minority wants political theater, and the nation needs a new epa administrator. at the end of this meeting, this committee rules will be back in full effect. i expect to conduct all further business in this committee under those rules and hope from this point forward we will work together in a bipartisan manner. before we adjourn, it is important to note that in 2009, then chairman boxer reported legislation from this committee without meeting the quorum requirements under the committee
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rules. with regard to the boycott comparisons to gina mccarthy's nominations, it was not stoppinging president obama from setting up his government. mccarthy was a second term nomination, and appointments were already at epa advancing president obama's agenda. this concludes the business meeting and i ask can unanimous consent for staff to make any technical corrections to the z measures today. without objection, this business meeting is concluded, and the committee stands adjourned.
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>> to report out, you need a majority and roll call vote, and the majority is 11 and we had 11 affirmative votes for scott pruitt and he is approved from the committee to the full committe committee. >> do you expect that this move is going be challenged on the floor? >> no, as i said in the statement, and we can give you a full statement. this has been vetted with the
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parliamentarian and consistent with the rules, and if any challenge is made by the democrats the parliamentarian will sustain what we did here. >> thank you. so the senate environmental public works committee wrapping up with the nomination of scott pruitt to be administrator of the epa and no democrats in attendance and now it goes to the full senate for confirmation. if you missed any of the hearing or the confirmation hearings that we have shown you, you can go the video library at cspan.org. we have this from politico today, president trump threatening to withdraw federal
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funding to the university of california at berkeley in its decision to cancel an event with milo yiannopoulos because of his spee speech. russian hacking and the 2016 election. former george w. bush officials will discuss and analyze the conclusions of the intelligence report on the russian hacking, and the future of the relations of russia and the trump administration. >> welcome to the center for the national interest where we will have i am sure an interesting and important conversation today about russia in the u.s. election and assessing mosc