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Senate Committee Advances Four More Presidential Nominees

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Today the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources convened to consider advancing four more nominees for roles in the Administration. The four nominees up for consideration by the Committee were: David Bernhardt to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Dan Brouillette to be Deputy Secretary of Energy, and Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to be Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As has been reported on extensively, the Administration has hundreds of positions to fill within its various departments and agencies. Unfortunately, until these positions are filled federal agencies remain largely incapable of acting on their mission areas due to being understaffed. FERC stands out, as IMA-NA has noted, as an agency in dire need of staffing; however most of the Departments are equally hamstrung without appointed Deputy Secretaries. Chairwoman Murkowski herself is, reportedly, displeased with the pace of confirmation votes, as these nominees increased the number cleared through the Committee during this session to 6. 

Fortunately, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources moved the four nominees one step closer to confirmation by reporting all of them out of Committee favorably. Only David Bernhardt passed through the Committee without strong bipartisan votes. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine) were the only non-Republicans to approve Bernhardt's nomination leading to a vote count of 14-9. Democrats on the Committee withheld support based on his recent career as a lobbyist, working on behalf of energy and mining firms, including oil and gas companies. Environmentalists raised concerns that Bernhardt could use a position as Deputy Secretary of the Interior to enrich his former clients. 

IMA-NA is pleased to see the Senate moving the confirmation process forward and commend the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for approving four qualified nominees for positions of great importance to our federal government. 

Tags:  appointee  confirmation  Congress  department of interior  FERC  legislation  nominee  Senate 

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