WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have temporally thwarted a key Senate confirmation vote on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Democrats boycotted a meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Wednesday. Their 10 reserved seats were empty as the meeting to discuss Pruitt's nomination started. Committee rules require at least two members of the minority party be present for a vote.
Chairman John Barrasso accused the absent Democrats of engaging in obstruction. After recessing, the Wyoming Republican pledged to "do what is necessary" to advance Pruitt's nomination, raising the possibility the GOP majority may seek a rules change to push the issue to a vote before the full Senate.
The vote was postponed. As attorney general, Pruitt has frequently sued the EPA.