The House was in recess last week and resumes Tuesday.


AIR FORCE SECRETARY: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Heather Wilson to serve as Air Force Secretary. A supporter, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, cited Wilson’s experience in the Air Force, as a House member and as a college president, and said “her qualifications and character are beyond dispute.” An opponent, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said ethics issues in Wilson’s past meant she “has not demonstrated the unflinching commitment to integrity that we demand of our men and women in uniform.” The vote, on May 8, was 76 yeas to 22 nays.

YEAS: Susan Collins, R-Maine, Angus King, I-Maine

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Dr. Scott Gottlieb to serve as Commissioner of Food and Drugs at the Health and Human Services Department. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Gottlieb’s experience as a practicing physician and public and private shaper of medical innovation and policy gave him the necessary qualifications to lead the Food and Drug Administration. The vote, on May 9, was 57 yeas to 42 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King


METHANE FLARING RULE: The Senate has rejected a motion to consider a resolution (H.J. Res. 36), sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, stating disapproval of a Bureau of Land Management rule restricting the venting and flaring of methane from natural gas and oil wells on federal lands. A supporter of the rule, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., called it “a tremendously effective way to address greenhouse gases” and emissions of volatile organic compounds and other substances that harm public health. The vote to consider, on May 10, was 49 yeas to 51 nays.

NAYS: Collins, King

TRADE REPRESENTATIVE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Robert Lighthizer to serve as U.S. trade representative. A supporter, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said Lighthizer’s record indicated that he would negotiate trade agreements that benefit the American worker and advance labor and environmental protections, and would hold other countries to meeting the terms of such agreements. The vote, on May 11, was 82 yeas to 14 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

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