Sheldon Whitehouse

Despite Email Flap, Scott Pruitt Confirmed to Head EPA
Court order unsealing records prompted calls to postpone vote

Scott Pruitt was confirmed Friday as the new administrator of the EPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate continued powering through its march on Cabinet confirmations, approving on Friday the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA, despite questions surrounding the appropriateness of his contacts with the fossil fuel industry.

Senators voted 52-46 to confirm Pruitt.

Senate Democrats Plan All-Nighter Over EPA Nominee
But Scott Pruitt is likely to be confirmed despite objections

Scott Pruitt is the current attorney general of Oklahoma. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are planning to once again stage a series of overnight speeches on the Senate floor, this time in opposition to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA. 

“We intend to stand our ground,” said Delaware Sen. Thomas R. Carper, the ranking Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. While Pruitt appears poised for confirmation, Carper said Democrats were not going quietly into the night.

Warren Blocked From Speaking During Sessions Confirmation Debate
Republicans say Massachusetts Democrat impugned AG nominee

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was directed to not speak for the remainder of the debate on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:22 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and liberal firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren clashed on the chamber floor Tuesday evening, with the Kentucky Republican moving for the Massachusetts Democrat to take her seat.

Senators voted along party lines, 49-43, to uphold a ruling of the chair, blocking Warren from speaking for the remainder of the debate on confirmation of fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

Supreme Court Nominee’s Legal Approach Follows Scalia
Analysis of past rulings reveal an ideology similar to late justice’s

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, left, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley arrive to speak to reporters following their meeting in the Capitol on Feb. 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Judge Neil Gorsuch included a line in his first remarks as a Supreme Court nominee that signals just how closely his approach to deciding cases aligns with the late Antonin Scalia, the polarizing and reliably conservative justice whose seat Gorsuch would fill.

“A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands,” Gorsuch, 49, said at the White House last Tuesday.

Feinstein Recovering After Pacemaker Surgery
She’ll miss Day 2 of Sessions’ confirmation hearing, Whitehouse serves as Judiciary ranking member

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrives to take on the ranking member duties during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a pacemaker installed at George Washington University Hospital on Tuesday evening and is resting at home on Wednesday.

The senator is absent from Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing for attorney general but plans on working from home all day. She questioned Sessions on the first day of the hearing on Tuesday.

AG Pick Sessions Defends Record at Contentious Hearing
Alabama Republican argues he’s strong on civil rights

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, is sworn in on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:42 p.m. | Sen. Jeff Sessions made his case to be attorney general Tuesday, in a confirmation hearing punctuated by racially charged protesters and warnings from Democrats that minorities fear he wouldn’t protect their rights as the Justice Department leader.

The Alabama Republican decried accusations of racial insensitivity that sunk his 1986 nomination to be a federal judge as “damnably false,” and appealed to his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to study his record of 20 years working beside them in the Senate.

Schumer Seeks Inquiry Into HHS Nominee’s Health Stock Trades
Asks whether Price’s position in the House aided him in his trades.

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Patty Murray of Washington and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York hold a news conference to discuss the nomination of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to be secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Thursday called for an investigation into the trading of medical industry stocks by President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. The Trump transition team responded by highlighting recent trading in pharmaceutical stocks by three Democratic senators.

Schumer, a New York Democrat, asked that the House Office of Congressional Ethics look into Price’s trading in health care stocks, an issue that Roll Call investigated in a story last month. Price last year traded shares of firms such as Gilead Sciences, Aetna and CVS Health Corp, while serving on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.

DSCC Names First Female Executive Director
Mindy Myers ran the organization's independent expenditure efforts

Myers is the first woman to lead the DSCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Veteran operative Mindy Myers has been named the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s new executive director, becoming the first woman to lead the organization.

Myers oversaw the DSCC’s independent expenditure efforts during the 2016 campaign cycle. She has also managed Senate campaigns and worked for Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

Word on the Hill: Busy Social Week
Hamburgers and shuffling staffer

Ben Bergstrom, from North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven’s office puts a Santa hat on a mountain lion on loan from North Dakota's Kenner Simmental Ranch while decorating for Christmas in their Russell building office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hopefully, you got some rest this weekend because the week’s social calendar is jampacked.

Since there is a lot going on and a lot of holiday parties, HOH weeded through the list to give you the best options each day.