End of the Road for FERC Nominee?

Rep.-elect Tim Scott, R-S.C.., speaks during news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)  
National Journal
Alex Brown
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Brown
Sept. 26, 2013, 7:19 a.m.

Bar­ring some un­usu­al man­euv­er­ing by Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, Ron Binz’s chances of head­ing the Fed­er­al En­ergy Reg­u­lat­ory Com­mis­sion may be all but gone.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., an­nounced his op­pos­i­tion to Binz on Thursday morn­ing, mean­ing all 10 Re­pub­lic­ans on the Sen­ate’s En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee—along with Demo­crat­ic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Vir­gin­ia—re­portedly stand against his con­firm­a­tion. That means the 22-mem­ber pan­el will not be able to re­com­mend him for a full Sen­ate vote.

A spokes­man for com­mit­tee chair­man Ron Wyden, D-Ore., signaled the White House may be mov­ing in a new dir­ec­tion. “The com­mit­tee is aware that oth­er can­did­ates are be­ing con­sidered to lead the FERC,” Keith Chu said.

Binz’s con­firm­a­tion pro­spects had been tenu­ous fol­low­ing a gruel­ing hear­ing be­fore the com­mit­tee earli­er this month. Manchin and Sen. Rob Port­man, R-Ohio, have said Binz re­vealed a bi­as to­ward re­new­able fuels over coal dur­ing his time as head of the Col­or­ado reg­u­lat­ory au­thor­ity, but Binz has denied he is anti-coal.

Spec­u­la­tion in­tens­i­fied Wed­nes­day when Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said she had heard Binz was with­draw­ing his name. Not so, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion. “Mr. Binz has not with­drawn his nom­in­a­tion,” said FERC spokes­wo­man Mary O’Driscoll.

Al­though Binz may not be able to earn the com­mit­tee’s ma­jor­ity sup­port, a spokes­man for Wyden said the pan­el would still hold a vote on re­com­mend­ing him to the full Sen­ate.

What re­mains to be seen is if Re­id will put Binz’s con­firm­a­tion be­fore the full Sen­ate without the com­mit­tee’s ap­prov­al, a move pre­vi­ous ma­jor­ity lead­ers have used in rare in­stances for stalled nom­in­ees. In 2005, the nom­in­a­tion of former Am­bas­sad­or to the United Na­tions John Bolton was sent to a vote be­fore the Sen­ate without the back­ing of the Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee. Re­id has not stated wheth­er he will use such a man­euver, but he did push the White House to nom­in­ate Binz over the ori­gin­al choice, John Nor­ris. 

Ac­cord­ing to Sen­ate data, only five nom­in­a­tions that got a neut­ral re­port­ing from a com­mit­tee have been brought to the floor since 1987, and only one was ap­proved. Sim­il­arly, only five neg­at­ive re­ports on nom­in­ees were sent to the Sen­ate floor, and just one was ap­proved.

What We're Following See More »
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
19 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
SENT LETTERS TO A DOZEN ORGANIZATIONS
Senate Intel Looks to Preserve Records of Russian Interference
23 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to ensure that records related to Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections are preserved as it begins investigating that country’s ties to the Trump team. The panel sent more than a dozen letters to 'organizations, agencies and officials' on Friday, asking them to preserve materials related to the congressional investigation, according to a Senate aide, who was not authorized to comment publicly. The Senate Intelligence Committee is spearheading the most comprehensive probe on Capitol Hill of Russia’s alleged activities in the elections."

Source:
WON’T INTERFERE IN STRUCTURING NSC OFFICE
White House to Give McMaster Carte Blanche
1 days ago
THE LATEST
NAIVE, RISK TAKER
Russia Compiling Dossier on Trump’s Mind
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."

Source:
PLANS TO CURB ITS POWER
Pruitt Confirmed As EPA Head
5 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login