Abrupt postponement on Perry, Zinke; Cornyn says to expect vote next week

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry leaves after a meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower December 12, 2016 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCURKENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry leaves after a meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower December 12, 2016 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCURKENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

Plans to vote on the confirmation of former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., to join President Donald Trump’s cabinet have been delayed.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowsi, R-Alaska, and ranking member Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., offered no explanation for the delay or when it would be rescheduled in a statement late Monday.

Republican leaders criticized Senate Democrats Tuesday for dragging out President Trump cabinet nominees.

“This was simply an attempt to re litigate the election,” said Sen. John Cornyn, the majority whip. “Our Democratic friends need to get over the fact the election is over. Now we need to govern, hopefully together.”

Cornyn said he expected a vote on Perry’s nomination next Tuesday.

 

Perry, who Trump nominated for Secretary of Energy, appeared before the committee last week in a light-hearted hearing in which the Texan both said he now believed man-made climate change was real and apologized for a past statement that the Department of Energy should be abolished.

Zinke, Trump’s pick for Secretary of the Interior, had a similarly low-key appearance when he appeared before the committee.

Both were expected to sail through a confirmation vote easily. But the sudden announcement that the vote would be delayed – only seven hours after it had originally been scheduled – meant they would have to wait at least a week with Republicans scheduled to leave Washington Wednesday for their annual retreat in Philadelphia.

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