Senate confirms deputy secretary of Interior

The Senate voted 97-0 Thursday to confirm Michael Connor to be deputy secretary of the Interior.

Connor will serve under Secretary Sally Jewell.

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"Mike Connor is a dedicated public servant with the experience and background needed to help meet our nation's goals for energy independence and our environment," Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said. Connor is from New Mexico.

This was a rare occasion where Republicans didn’t force a cloture vote before Connor’s final confirmation.

GOP senators have been protesting Democrats’ use of the “nuclear option” to unilaterally change Senate filibuster rules last year.

Before the rule change Democrats needed some Republican support to advance a nominee with 60 votes, but now only a simple majority is needed. Republicans argue that the rule change harms the Senate as an institution by limiting minority party rights.