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Democrats Boycott Committee Vote on Trump’s EPA Pick
Trump EPA Nominee Pruitt
[Editor's note: Click here for the latest: Groups Denounce GOP's Move to Force Through Trump's EPA Pick]
All 10 Democratic members of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee boycotted a vote on Scott Pruitt's nomination for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Wednesday, citing serious concerns over his stances on climate change and pollution regulation, and demanding more complete answers from the nominee on various hot-button issues.
The move deprived the committee of the two minority members necessary for a vote, stalling the GOP from moving Pruitt's nomination to the full Senate. While GOP members of the Senate Finance Committee, faced with a similar Democratic boycott Wednesday, altered committee rules to move health secretary nominee Tom Price and treasury pick Steven Mnuchin's nominations to the full Senate without a Democratic vote, it's unclear if the EPW Committee will follow suit.
"We applaud the committee's Democrats for refusing to be complicit in approving such an unacceptable nominee and boycotting this vote," Sierra Club's Executive Director Michael Brune said. "Scott Pruitt would likely bring unacceptable changes to our bedrock environmental laws if given control of the EPA. We will continue to resist this nomination and the rollbacks on our clean air and clean water protections that would ensue if Scott Pruitt seizes control of this agency."
Pruitt's nomination has been hotly contested in and out of Washington, with The Hill reporting that outside groups have spent more than $3 million in ads and other actions supporting and opposing his candidacy.
"Today's actions by Democrats to resist Scott Pruitt's nomination were necessary and commendable," Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said. "Pruitt is wholly unfit and unqualified to lead the EPA, and anything done by anyone to prevent his confirmation must be welcomed and encouraged."
For a deeper dive:
Spending: The Hill
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
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Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
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"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.