Sessions threatens to bring Senate to ‘grinding halt’ over nuke official's nomination

Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoGOP blasts EPA on mine spill anniversary Investigators open criminal probe into EPA mine waste spill McAuliffe: I wouldn't want a 'caretaker' in Kaine's Senate seat MORE (R-Wyo.) echoed Sessions’s concerns.

“She is very well-qualified and I hope that her re-nomination is not being stalled by the White House or others for political reasons,” he said.

Sen. Tom CarperTom CarperCarper pushes DHS for elections to be classified critical infrastructure US Postal Service posts .57 billion loss Centrist Dems wary of public option push MORE (D-Del.) said he also believes Svinicki should be re-nominated.

Svinicki has clashed with NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko in recent months. She, along with three other NRC commissioners, wrote to the White House last year alleging that Jaczko is causing “serious damage” to the agency that could harm the body’s ability to protect health and safety.

She also initially raised concerns about Jaczko’s timeline for implementing new safety rules put forward in the aftermath of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Sessions took aim at Jaczko on Thursday, raising questions about his ability to lead the agency and alleging that Democrats have been too quick to dismiss the other commissioners’ concerns.

“The president and the Senate Democrats have circled the wagons to protect the chairman from accountability,” he said.