The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt to be the new EPA Administrator on a vote of 52-46. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) crossed the aisle to vote in favor of his nomination and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) crossed the aisle to vote against the nomination. The vote followed 30 hours of debate, including an all-nighter last night, as Democratic Party senators voiced their vociferous opposition to his appointment.
Pruitt is expected to be sworn in later this afternoon and to assume his duties immediately. It is widely expected that, as early as next Tuesday, the President will issue one or more Executive Orders directing EPA to reconsider a number of signature Obama Administration environmental policy initiatives, including the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. It is also expected that announcements will be forthcoming for senior EPA positions. So far, Ryan Jackson, formerly staff with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is the only senior staff appointment that has been made public. Jackson will be EPA Chief of Staff