The Senate on Thursday voted 97-0 to approve President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Energy.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Manchin: Biden told moderates to pitch price tag for reconciliation bill Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions MORE (D-Ore.) and ranking member Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff Graham tries to help Trump and McConnell bury the hatchet Trump, allies launch onslaught as midterms kick into gear MORE (R-Alaska) hailed the fact that Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Moniz: Texas blackouts show need to protect infrastructure against climate change The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran MORE had broad bipartisan support.
“I think it is good when we are able to stand as the chairman and ranking member and really come to terms of agreement and support for an individual,” Murkowski said ahead of the confirmation vote.
Wyden said Moniz “is smart about energy policy” and “savvy” about how the Department of Energy operates.
“There are huge challenges ahead of him at the Department of Energy, but I believe he is very qualified,” Wyden said.
Moniz, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist who served as undersecretary of Energy in the Clinton administration, replaces former Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
“The Senate is poised to confirm someone who is extremely well-qualified for secretary of Energy and prove that the American Dream is alive and well,” Sen. Mo Cowan (D-Mass.) said. “Through the MIT energy initiative, he has been on the forefront of energy technology.”
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles Graham tries to help Trump and McConnell bury the hatchet MORE (R-S.C.) had been holding up a vote over his concerns about federal management of a program in his state to transform weapons-grade plutonium into fuel. But he removed that hold last week.
“I put a hold on Dr. Moniz not because of anything to do with him. He’s a wonderful fellow,” Graham said ahead of the vote. “The reason we put a hold on his nomination was to get attention.”
— Ben Geman contributed to this report.