The Senate on Thursday voted 97-0 to approve President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Energy.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron WydenRon WydenLawmakers join women's marches in DC and nationwide Senate confirms first nominees of Trump era Senate gears up for battle over Trump's CIA pick MORE (D-Ore.) and ranking member Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiWhat we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Perry regrets saying he would abolish Energy Department Trump education pick to face Warren, Sanders MORE (R-Alaska) hailed the fact that Ernest MonizErnest MonizWhat we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Overnight Energy: Rough hearing for Tillerson Overnight Energy: Former Exxon chief Tillerson takes the hot seat MORE had broad bipartisan support.
Wyden said Moniz “is smart about energy policy” and “savvy” about how the Department of Energy operates.
“There are huge challenges ahead of him at the Department of Energy, but I believe he is very qualified,” Wyden said.
Moniz, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist who served as undersecretary of Energy in the Clinton administration, replaces former Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
“The Senate is poised to confirm someone who is extremely well-qualified for secretary of Energy and prove that the American Dream is alive and well,” Sen. Mo Cowan (D-Mass.) said. “Through the MIT energy initiative, he has been on the forefront of energy technology.”
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report Graham: Trump would make mistake in not punishing Russia Graham to vote for Trump’s EPA pick MORE (R-S.C.) had been holding up a vote over his concerns about federal management of a program in his state to transform weapons-grade plutonium into fuel. But he removed that hold last week.
“I put a hold on Dr. Moniz not because of anything to do with him. He’s a wonderful fellow,” Graham said ahead of the vote. “The reason we put a hold on his nomination was to get attention.”
— Ben Geman contributed to this report.