Senate OKs 7 Obama picks, but Cornyn blocks Clinton

The Senate on Tuesday granted quick and unanimous approval for seven agency nominees in the Obama administration, about half of a longer wish list that Democratic leaders had circulated Monday.

Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) was one of the seven appointments confirmed by unanimous consent. He will serve as Obama’s secretary of the Department of the Interior.

Senators also approved Energy Secretary nominee Steven Chu, Education Secretary nominee Arne DuncanArne Starkey DuncanTrump administration is putting profits over students Chicago to make future plans a graduation requirement: report Top Education official resigned over dispute with DeVos: report MORE, Homeland Security Secretary nominee Janet Napolitano, Office of Management and Budget Director nominee Peter Orszag, Agriculture Secretary nominee Tom VilsackThomas James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE and Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Eric ShinsekiEric Ken ShinsekiThe real VA scandal: No will to help veterans Dem demands Trump provide potential death toll for war with North Korea House approves VA bill, sending it to Trump MORE.

The approvals were about half of a list of 15 names that Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE (D-Nev.) had circulated Monday to ascertain GOP objections. Their approval was likely since little controversy had arisen over their appointments.

Salazar and Napolitano, for example, told The Hill that they were unaware of any GOP opposition to them.

Reid also announced Tuesday that the Senate will vote at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) nomination as secretary of State.

Obama hoped to have Clinton confirmed on Tuesday, but the New York Democrat’s nomination was blocked by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (R-Texas). He cited conflict-of-interest concerns over President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard? Make the compromise: Ending chain migration is a small price to legalize Dreamers Assessing Trump's impeachment odds through a historic lens MORE’s foundation.

Cornyn issued a statement Tuesday that said, “Important questions remain unanswered concerning the Clinton Foundation and its acceptance of donations from foreign entities.

“Transparency transcends partisan politics and the American people deserve to know more,” Cornyn said.

Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterTrump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? Not the Senate's job to second-guess Alabama voters MORE (R-La.) cited the same reason when he also opposed Clinton’s nomination when it came before the Foreign Relations Committee last week.

Speaking on the floor about the successful confirmations, Reid said they would help Obama develop his legislative strategy and begin working with the Senate as soon as possible.

“President Obama has nominated a Cabinet of exceptionally bright and capable people. They represent a cross section of our country, geographically and politically,” Reid said. “It is up to us, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, to confirm these worthy nominees quickly so that they, along with our new president, can hit the ground running.”

The list Reid circulated Monday also included would-be Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Pennsylvania Supreme Court releases new congressional map 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 MORE. His nomination has been more controversial because of his role in the Marc Rich pardon case, although a couple Republicans have announced they will support him and he seems likely to be confirmed.

Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), Obama’s pick for Labor secretary, was also on the list.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who goes before the Finance Committee for a 10 a.m. hearing Wednesday, is certain to face questions over his personal tax delinquency that was announced last week. Still, several Republicans offered support for Geithner when the tax story broke last week, suggesting he is likely to win confirmation.