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Committee to vote on Zinke, Perry nominations Tuesday

Committee to vote on Zinke, Perry nominations Tuesday
© Greg Nash

A Senate panel is scheduled to vote on two of President Trump’s energy and natural resources nominees on Tuesday. 

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will meet on Tuesday morning to consider Rep. Ryan Zinke’s (R-Mont.) nomination to be Interior Secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) nomination to lead the Department of Energy (DOE). 

Committee members heard from both nominees during confirmation hearings next week. 

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Neither nominee is considered especially controversial, and everything points to unanimous support for both from committee Republicans.

During their hearings, Democrats asked both about their acceptance of the science behind man-made climate change, and Zinke and Perry were peppered with questions about other department operations. 

Committee Democrats wanted to ensure Zinke supported the principle of federal land ownership, an area where both he and President Trump profess more moderate viewpoints than some conservatives. 

Perry faced questions about his defense of climate scientists in the Energy Department, especially in light of reports about major funding cuts for the DOE under Trump. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Trump administration denies permit for controversial Pebble Mine Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism MORE (R-Alaska), the chair of the committee, later said she wanted to move both nominations directly to the floor for confirmation, though that didn’t happen last week. 

Tuesday’s hearing comes as the Senate begins working through Trump’s Cabinet nominations. Members confirmed two officials for posts on Friday after Trump was sworn into office, and the Senate will vote on his nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency on Monday night. 

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson will receive a vote in the Foreign Relations Committee on Monday, and his path to confirmation appears clear after a handful of Republicans, including Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls The Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday MORE (R-Fla.) endorsed his nomination this week.