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Senate committee postpones Zinke, Perry votes

Senate committee postpones Zinke, Perry votes
© Greg Nash

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has postponed a hearing to vote on two of President Trump's Cabinet nominees.

The committee announced Monday afternoon that members would meet on Tuesday morning to consider Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to be Interior secretary and Rick Perry’s nomination to lead the Department of Energy.

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But on Monday night, the committee said the hearing would be postponed “until further notice.”

Committee officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the reason for the change.

Zinke and Perry have not been considered especially controversial nominees. Even though Democrats peppered them with questions about climate change and other issues during confirmation hearings last week, the nominations haven’t garnered the same outspoken opposition as other Cabinet picks, such as Environmental Protection Agency nominee Scott Pruitt.

Even so, the postponement comes at a tense point in Senate deliberations on Trump’s nominees. The Senate confirmed only two Trump picks on Friday, the day he was sworn in, a slate of confirmations so scant it left Republicans fuming.

The Senate approved Trump’s CIA director nominee, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), on Monday night, but only after a protracted fight over surveillance delayed the nomination. Only 15 Democrats votes to confirm Pompeo.  

Trump's secretary of State pick, Rex Tillerson, cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday on a party line vote.