The Senate voted 97-0 to approve President Obama’s nomination of Ernest Moniz to head the Department of Energy.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee demanded that the Treasury Inspector General investigate the “inappropriate harassment of conservative groups” by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“No one should be intimidated by the government into shutting up as part of our political process,” McConnell said Thursday. “And that’s why the Republican members of the Finance Committee are sending a letter today to Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration requesting investigation into this very issue. Because, without this sort of inquiry, we may never have confirmed the inappropriate harassment of conservative groups that was going on at the IRS for two years.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Republicans lied to the media when they said the Obama administration engaged in a cover-up on the Benghazi attack.
“For months my Republican colleagues have argued that the Obama administration has engaged in a cover-up surrounding an attack in Benghazi,” Reid said Thursday. “The emails prove there was simply no cover-up.”
Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said House Republicans are “debating what they will write on a ransom note” instead of agreeing to go to conference on the budget.
“House Republican’s are meeting to discuss what they will ask for in exchange for not tanking the economy,” Murray said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “They are debating what they will write on a ransom note.”
The Senate confirmed President Obama’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 91-7 for Marilyn Tavenner to lead CMS, which hasn’t had a Senate-confirmed administrator in seven years.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that Senate Democrats are blocking his resolution that calls on officials involved in the IRS scandal to be fired.
"This resolution is not about Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal," Paul said. "It is about arrogant and unrestrained government vs. the rule of law. The First Amendment cannot and should not be renegotiated depending on which party holds power."
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he would grill Army officials testifying before his Appropriation subcommittee next week on the growing problem of military sexual assaults.
“Reports of widespread sexual assaults in the armed services show a disgraceful culture of abuse that must be stopped,” Durbin said Wednesday. “Next week, the Army will be before my subcommittee and they will face tough questions about these accusations.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the IRS scandal is a result of a culture of “intimidation” and “hardball politics” within the Obama administration.
“This culture of intimidation and hardball politics, we cannot stand for this,” Rubio said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
The bill faces an uncertain future in the House, were lawmakers are concerned about the discretion it would give Obama.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed that as more details come out on the IRS scandal, he intends to “find out the relevant details.”
Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted that officials in Ohio had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, with higher scrutiny. Many groups were singled out for having the words "Tea Party" or "patriot" in their name.