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

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Watchdog to probe EPA email preservation Overnight Energy: EPA moves to roll back chemical plant safety rule | NASA chief says humans contribute to climate change | Pruitt gets outside lawyer 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 CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperHillicon Valley: Facebook, Google struggle to block terrorist content | Cambridge Analytica declares bankruptcy in US | Company exposed phone location data | Apple starts paying back taxes to Ireland Overnight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus Watchdog to probe EPA email preservation 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.