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Democratic senator calls Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt “God awful nominee” for EPA

WASHINGTON  — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is one step closer to becoming the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator.

On Thursday, the Senate voted 54-46 to advance Pruitt’s nomination.

A final vote is expected before Friday evening.

However, it seems that Pruitt’s likely confirmation won’t go without harsh words from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday she will vote against Pruitt, making her the first Republican to break ranks over the nominee.

“The fact is, Mr. Pruitt and I have fundamentally different views of the role and mission of the EPA,” Collins said in a statement.

On the other hand, Democrats had harsher words for President Trump’s pick to lead the agency.

“We are all very proud of the way our ranking member has conducted and led the opposition to this God awful nominee,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said.

“The idea that we are now going to hand the keys to our Environmental Protection Agency to a person so compromised, who has absolutely established himself as the tool and the minion of the fossil fuel industry is a really disgraceful day for the United States of America. This is low and we are going to spend the time that we have under the rules trying to make sure that we make this point as loud and clear as we can.  This is the wolf into the lamb fold.  This is wrong.  This is an appalling conflict of interest,” Sheldon went on to say.

Pruitt is currently the Oklahoma attorney general, and in that office, he has led lawsuits against the agency he stands to lead.

Despite overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, Pruitt has said human impact on the climate needs more debate.

Environmentalists have staunchly opposed his nomination, while many Republicans have praised him for combating what they view as regulatory overreach.