Democrats, including CT's senators, speak out against Trump's EP - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Democrats, including CT's senators, speak out against Trump's EPA pick

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Sen. Chris Murphy argued against the nomination of Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA. (CBS photo) Sen. Chris Murphy argued against the nomination of Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA. (CBS photo)
Scott Pruitt. (AP photo) Scott Pruitt. (AP photo)

Democrats are holding their latest marathon opposition session on the U.S. Senate floor.

Starting Thursday, several senators took to the floor to oppose Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy spoke around 6:45 a.m. and questioned the administration's picks for positions thus far.

"This administration is simply not prepared to govern," Murphy said. "The people being appointed to cabinet positions to serve in this administration simply aren't ready to get the job done."

Murphy cited the situation surrounding Michael Flynn, Trump's national security advisor who resigned on Monday. The resignation came amid reports that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia.

"Betsy DeVoss wasn't ready for her confirmation hearing [for education secretary]," Murphy argued. "She didn't know the basic facts about federal education law."

He proceeded to pick apart Trump's nominees.

"We are here today because the nomination of Scott Pruitt fits neatly into a pattern of behavior by this administration, in which very, very rich people or people with very close ties to powerful interests are being put into government." Murphy said. "And our worry is they are being put there not to serve the American people, but to serve those interests."

The Senate itself is expected to vote on Pruitt's nomination Friday afternoon.

Democrats have been calling for a delay, citing a refusal by Pruitt to hand over emails he exchanged with oil and gas executives who backed his political campaigns.

Thursday, a judge ordered the release of those emails.

That was all the more reason Democrats called for a delay.

"This development really requires a delay in this vote So that we can review those emails and know what those conflicts of interest were, what they may continue to be," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Environmental groups have also opposed Pruitt's nomination. They predicted that he will set back environmental protections.

Pruitt said last month that he disagreed with Trump's assessment that global warming is a hoax. In the past, however, Pruitt cast doubt on scientific evidence that showed it.

Republicans remained undaunted by the opposition and were poised to confirm him.

"Scott Pruitt is the most thoroughly vetted nominee we've ever had to lead this agency," said Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "These boycotts and these delay tactics do nothing to protect our environment or the health of Americans."

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