Sen. David Vitter has promised to block a raise for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar unless his department issues more drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico.
Vitter praised Salazar’s request Wednesday. “I’m glad the secretary has dropped his push for a pay raise. ... Now I hope he starts earning what he already makes and properly issues new permits for much-needed drilling in the Gulf,” Vitter said.
Reid criticized Vitter for placing inappropriate pressure on the Interior secretary. “I have worked with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on this issue for weeks, and it is wrong for Sen. Vitter to try to get something in return for moving forward on a matter that the Senate has considered routine for more than a century,” Reid said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.