Trump Selects Oklahoma AG to Head EPA
President-elect Donald Trump has been busy selecting his picks for cabinet positions and today’s pick for EPA head is likely to be the most talked about pick yet. Republican Attorney General Scott Pruitt will face a fierce, albeit futile, battle from Democrats in the Senate. Pruitt has been one of President Obama’s most ardent critics and fiercest opponents on issues such as Obamacare and illegal immigration.
Pruitt has also led the fight over the Clean Water Act, also called the Waters of the United States rule, which asserts federal jurisdiction over every stream and wetlands in the U.S. Pruitt, if confirmed, is expected to lead the charge in dismantling the EPA regulations cited by Trump as ‘job killers’. The 48 year-old Kentucky native has lived in Oklahoma since the early 1990’s and was an Oklahoma State Senator from 1998 to 2006.
Mr. Trump has stated that he wants to see the Clean Water Act and will require that for every new rule put into place, two must be repealed. Trump also wants a review of all existing rules. Each will be examined for possible repeal. Democrats such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Harry Reed and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont plan to launch an all-out fight against Pruitt’s confirmation. But their energy will likely be wasted.
Democrats in the Senate aren’t likely to be able to stop Trump’s conservative nominees and they have themselves to thank for it. In 2013, Senate Democrats muscled major rules changes into play that allow for a confirmation with just 51 votes rather than the previously prescribed 60. It’s known on the Hill as the ‘nuclear option’ and Democrats are bound to now regret the move. The GOP will hold 52 seats in the next congress, so a confirmation of Mr. Trump’s cabinet picks is all but certain.