Schumer couldn’t resist a jab at former President Donald Trump, saying that every one Biden’s nominees are “undoubtedly certified for his or her positions, a stark departure from the caliber of nominees the Senate was made to contemplate through the earlier administration.”

However certainly one of Biden’s nominees, Neera Tanden to guide the White Home Workplace of Administration and Price range, is clearly in bother within the evenly divided Senate. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has stated he opposes her affirmation.

Right here’s what occurred Tuesday:

The Senate voted 78-20 to approve profession diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as United Nations Ambassador, a Cupboard-level place. A 35-year overseas service veteran who resigned through the Trump administration, Thomas-Greenfield must tackle a number of worldwide relationships that had been altered by Trump’s erratic and isolationist fashion.

“This affirmation sends a message that the US is again and that our overseas service is again,” stated Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., who chairs a Home Overseas Affairs subcommittee on Africa, international well being and international human rights. “We as a rustic and as a world are safer with Linda Thomas-Greenfield serving as the US ambassador to the United Nations.”

Throughout affirmation hearings, Thomas-Greenfield confronted some criticism from Senate Republicans who labeled her smooth on China, citing a 2019 speech she gave to the Chinese language-funded Confucius Institute through which she praised China’s huge infrastructure and affect program in Africa.

She stated the speech had been a mistake and was not supposed to be an endorsement of Chinese language authorities insurance policies. She stated of China, “They’re a risk to their neighbors, and they’re a risk throughout the globe.”

The Senate voted 92-7 to verify Tom Vilsack for a return engagement as agriculture secretary.

The previous Iowa governor spent eight years main the identical division below former President Barack Obama.

In his testimony, Vilsack, 70, closely endorsed boosting climate-friendly agricultural industries such because the creation of biofuels, saying, “Agriculture is certainly one of our first and greatest methods to get some wins on this local weather space.”

Vilsack obtained minimal pushback or criticism throughout affirmation hearings. One of many few “no” votes got here from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an unbiased who caucuses with the Democrats. Sanders stated he would have favored “anyone slightly bit extra vigorous by way of defending household farms and taking over company agriculture.”

Vilsack additionally closely backed the Supplemental Vitamin Help Program — generally often called meals stamps, or SNAP — as a key instrument in serving to the nation’s most susceptible households survive and get well from the coronavirus pandemic. His Trump-era predecessor, Sonny Perdue, had sought to purge a whole lot of hundreds of individuals from the SNAP-recipient lists.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Well being and Human Companies nominee Xavier Becerra advised senators that “robust federal management” was wanted to confront the coronavirus pandemic. He additionally pledged to work to increase medical health insurance protection, curb prescription drug prices and scale back racial and ethnic disparities in medical care.

Presently California’s lawyer basic, Becerra appeared Tuesday earlier than the Senate Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions Committee. He has a second affirmation listening to Wednesday earlier than the Finance Committee, which is able to vote on sending his nomination to the Senate flooring.

On Tuesday, he pledged to work to increase the Obama-era Reasonably priced Care Act, although he’s beforehand supported a government-run system like “Medicare for All.”

Though Democrats have backed Becerra, Republican opposition has grown louder.

“I’m not bought but,” Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the rating Republican on the well being committee, stated, addressing Becerra. “I’m unsure that you’ve the required expertise or abilities to do that job at this second.”

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has referred to as Becerra “famously partisan.” As California lawyer basic, Becerra filed 124 lawsuits challenged Trump administration actions.

Rep. Deb Haaland, Biden’s nominee to guide the Inside Division, fielded sharp questions from Republicans over what some referred to as her “radical” concepts that embody opposition to fracking and to the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The New Mexico congresswoman stated she was decided to “strike the proper steadiness” between conserving public lands and vitality improvement. If confirmed, Haaland, 60, could be the primary Native American to guide a Cupboard company.

Haaland’s listening to centered on her and Biden’s intentions relating to the way forward for fossil fuels. Her listening to earlier than the Senate Vitality and Pure Sources Committee was adjourned after almost 2 half of hours and can resume Wednesday.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., displayed a big chart that includes a quote from Haaland final November, earlier than she was chosen as Biden’s nominee. She stated then: “If I had my means, it’d be nice to cease all gasoline and oil leasing on federal and public lands.”

Manchin, the panel’s chair and a Democrat from coal-dependent West Virginia, has stated he’s undecided on Haaland’s nomination.

In response to questions from Manchin and others, Haaland stated the U.S. will proceed to depend on fossil fuels reminiscent of oil and pure gasoline even because it strikes towards Biden’s aim of internet zero carbon emissions by mid-century. The transition to scrub vitality “just isn’t going to occur in a single day,” she stated.

Related Press writers Matthew Lee, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Matthew Daly in Washington contributed to this report.

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