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Senate Committee to Vote on Perry, Zinke Nominations Next Week

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is scheduled to vote next week on whether to confirm President Trump's nominees to lead the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Interior (DOI).

Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who chairs the committee, will also continue as chairman of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, a post she has held since 2015.

The committee will meet Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. EST in Room 366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, to vote on the nomination of Rep. Ryan Zinke (M-MT) to serve as secretary of the DOI, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be secretary of DOE. The committee had originally planned to meet this week to vote on the nominations, but the meeting was postponed.

Trump picked Zinke to lead to DOI and Perry to head DOE last month. Both men appeared before the committee for their confirmation hearings last week -- Zinke last Tuesday and Perry last Thursday. Although the hearings were cordial and had few fireworks, both men said they believe climate change is real, a significant departure from Trump.

Both Perry and Zinke are expected to be confirmed by the committee, which has 12 Republican members, including Murkowski, and nine Democrats. Two independent members, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME), caucus with the Democrats. A vote in the Republican-controlled Senate on the nominations would follow.

Rosemarie Calabro Tully, a spokesperson for the Democratic members of the committee, told NGIon Thursday she did not know how Democrats will vote.

The committee will also vote on a resolution authorizing expenditures by the committee and ratification of subcommittee assignments and jurisdictional listings.

On her reselection to head the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, Murkowski said the subcommittee "is critical to Alaska as it controls funding levels for federal agencies and departments that have a large presence in our state which affect the lives of Alaskans.

"As chairman, I have the ability to directly influence how these agencies operate, whether that's blocking excessive regulations or directing federal resources to where they are needed. I will continue to be a tireless advocate for our state and look forward to providing greater opportunities for Alaskans to build the economy and create healthy communities.”

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