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 WydenOvernight Finance: Trump takes victory lap at Carrier plant | House passes 'too big to fail' revamp | Trump econ team takes shape Senate Dems: Force Cabinet nominees to release tax returns Overnight Tech: Lawmakers look at US edge in artificial intelligence | Walden favored for Energy, Commerce gavel | Tech reaches out to Trump MORE (D-Ore.) and ranking member Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiPassing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy Overnight Energy: Dakota pipeline standoff heats up Trump's wrong to pick Bannon or Sessions for anything MORE (R-Alaska) hailed the fact that Ernest MonizErnest MonizFederal task force recommends safety upgrades for gas storage Energy secretary: ‘We got it right’ on Iran deal Overnight Energy: Trump visits Flint | GOP chairman defends subpoenas in climate probe 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 GrahamSenators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump Dem senator: Petraeus would have ‘real challenge’ on confirmation GOP senators: We’re open to Petraeus at State 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.