Senate Advances Rick Perry’s Nomination to be Energy Secretary

The Senate voted Thursday to forward with Rick Perry’s nomination to be Energy secretary.

Senators voted 62-37 to get his nomination over an initial procedural hurdle, setting up a final vote for Perry as early as Friday if senators fail to reach a deal to speed up his nomination.

Democratic Sens. Mark Warner (Va.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Ben Cardin (Md.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.), and Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine), voted with all present Republicans to back Perry.

GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson (Ga.) was not present.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) predicted ahead of the vote that Perry would get bipartisan support, adding that once the former Texas governor is confirmed, he can “begin leading on smarter policies at the Energy Department.”

Perry wasn’t included on a list of top targets from Democrats.

The Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 17-6 to approve Perry’s nomination in late January, sending it to the full Senate.

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SOURCE: The Hill, Jordain Carney