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 WydenThe Hill's 12:30 Report Tim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Dems push for US, EU cooperation on China's market status MORE (D-Ore.) and ranking member Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiMcAuliffe: I wouldn't want a 'caretaker' in Kaine's Senate seat Big Oil makes a push for risky and reckless Arctic drilling GOP divided over 0M for climate fund MORE (R-Alaska) hailed the fact that Ernest MonizErnest MonizEnergy Dept. helps with Biden’s cancer project Bay Area energy meeting is where climate protection gets real The Trail 2016: Donald and the Supremes 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 GrahamTrump: 'I hope' Russia is able to get Clinton's emails Syria activists cheer Kaine pick Vulnerable GOP senators praise Kaine 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.