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 WydenFeds list schools that sought exemption from discrimination statute IRS: Annual unpaid tax liability was 8B Overnight Cybersecurity: Fight over feds' hacking powers moves to Congress MORE (D-Ore.) and ranking member Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report Bishop eyes new Puerto Rico bill after recess Week ahead: Senate looks to wrap up energy, water spending bill MORE (R-Alaska) hailed the fact that Ernest MonizErnest MonizOvernight Energy: Flint aid attached to water bill Ernest Moniz quietly takes key role for Obama Moniz says there is no Obama ‘war on coal’ 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 beginning of the end for Ted Cruz Graham: 'Lucifer may be the only person Trump can beat in a general election' Sunday shows preview: Cruz pulls out all the stops ahead of Indiana 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.