Read More Updates From Trump Picks’ Confirmation Hearings | The Huffington Post

Source: Read More Updates From Trump Picks’ Confirmation Hearings | The Huffington Post

Four more people face questions today.

01/18/2017 09:30 am ET | Updated 7 minutes ago

More of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks face questions on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Here’s who’s up today:

Read live updates from the hearings below:

7 minutes ago

Pruitt ‘Rejects False Paradigm’ That Supporting Fossil Fuels Is ‘Anti-Environment’

Pruitt came out swinging in his opening remarks, zeroing in on criticism over his alarmingly deep ties to oil and gas companies.

“We must reject as a nation the false paradigm that if you’re pro-energy, you’re anti-environment or if you’re pro-environment, you’re anti-energy,” he said. “I reject that.”

The so-called paradigm seems to ignore the growth of clean energy sources such as solar and wind, which are widely endorsed by environmentalists.

― Alexander C. Kaufman

16 minutes ago

Protesters Interrupt Pruitt Hearing Just 22 Minutes In

Just 22 minutes after the hearing began, protesters interrupted Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) during his opening remarks in support of the Oklahoma attorney general chosen to lead the EPA. A woman’s voice could be heard yelling indiscernibly through the door, which was ajar. She did not appear to make it into the room.

“They obviously don’t like to see rivers like we do in Oklahoma,” Inhofe said as he resumed his remarks.

― Alexander C. Kaufman

17 minutes ago

Price Hearing Opens With Democrats’ Complaints

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) used her opening statement at the confirmation hearing for Trump’s choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services to protest the GOP majority “rushing” confirmations.

On Tuesday, Democrats were upset they didn’t get to ask additional questions of education secretary pick Betsy DeVos, and Murray restated those complaints and applied them to Wednesday’s hearing with Price. Murray also noted Democrats had asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Price’s investments in health care companies and potential conflicts of interest, and requested that Price’s confirmation hearings be delayed until that review is completed.

In a letter delivered to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Wednesday morning, Democrat Sens. Al Franken (Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) raised the same issues.

― Jeffrey Young

21 minutes ago

Republicans Slam United Nations At Haley Hearing

GOP lawmakers are condemning the United Nations at a hearing to confirm Haley as the next U.S. ambassador to the international body. Strongly supportive of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Republican Party has condemned the U.N. and the Obama administration for a December resolution that criticized

Netanyahu’s encouragement of Israeli settlement in Palestinian territories. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) slammed the body’s recent activity, and Corker even took a shot at recently retired U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“For me, it was hard to determine if he even had a pulse,” Corker said.

― Akbar Shahid Ahmed

29 minutes ago

Haley Hearing Opens With Nod To Her Immigrant Background

At Haley’s hearing to be ambassador to the United Nations, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) described the Indian-American politician’s story as one of the most “compelling” examples of the United States’ ability to bring together people from all over the world.

Trump is a strong opponent of immigration; Haley criticized him throughout the race to the Republican presidential nomination and the White House.

“Her story is really the epitome of the American dream coming to life,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said.

― Akbar Shahid Ahmed

31 minutes ago

Carper Reminds Pruitt That Flint Still Doesn’t Have Safe Drinking Water

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, reminded Pruitt and his committee that the residents of Flint, Michigan, still do not have clean drinking water. The agency’s inaction as the city’s water supply was contaminated by lead came under fire last year.

― Sam Levine

37 minutes ago

Pruitt Hearing Underway

Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) just finished offering his opening statement during the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s confirmation hearing for Scott Pruitt, the current Oklahoma attorney general and Trump’s pick to lead the EPA. Pruitt has sued the agency 13 times.

― Sam Levine

43 minutes ago

Price To Call For Medicare Reform

Trump’s pick to be secretary of Health and Human Services will testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that one of his priorities will be changes to Medicare, the health program for the elderly and people with disabilities.

“Today’s challenges make it even more important that we strengthen our resolve to keep the promises we, as a society, have made to our senior citizens and to those among us who are most in need of care and support. That means saving, strengthening, and securing Medicare for today’s beneficiaries and future generations,” Price will say, according to written testimony provided by the Trump transition team.

Price’s testimony doesn’t offer any details, but Democrats are likely to grill him on his and Trump’s plans for Medicare.

In the past, Price has supported plans that would further privatize Medicare by converting the program from a guaranteed benefit for everyone eligible to a system in which Medicare enrollees are given vouchers to buy private health insurance. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has promoted various versions of this plan for years, and Price himself authored an iteration last year when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee.

These proposals, which would fundamentally alter Medicare and could leave seniors on the hook for higher costs if the “premium support” vouchers they receive are worth less than the cost of their insurance, are at odds with Trump’s repeated promise not to cut Medicare.

― Jeffrey Young


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