The Senate confirmed two nominations to the Department of Energy on Thursday.

Franklin Orr was confirmed to be undersecretary of the Department of Energy by voice vote. And the Senate voted 89-3 to confirm Joseph Hezir to be chief financial officer at the Department of Energy.

The Senate is considering nominations while it waits for House legislation to keep the government funded past Dec. 11, to extend tax breaks for one year and to authorize defense spending.


With Republicans taking control of the upper chamber next year, Democrats are more motivated than ever to clear as many of Obama’s executive and judicial nominations as possible before adjourning for the year. Nearly 100 nominations are still pending on the executive calendar.

The Senate also ended debate on three judicial nominations: Gregory Stivers, to be a U.S. district judge for the Western District of Kentucky; Joseph Leeson, to be a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and Lydia Griggsby, to be a judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Their confirmation votes are expected around 1:45 p.m. on Thursday.

— This article was updated at 11:30 a.m.