Senate Finally Approves Biden Appointee

Senate Finally Approves Biden Appointee

( – Occasionally, presidential nominees will spin in the wind while the Senate fights over whether to approve their nominations. That’s especially true when the upper chamber is so closely divided. But one of President Joe Biden’s nominees waited a very long time for approval.

For three years, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation went without a confirmed leader. Joseph Goffman has been running the office since 2021, and was nominated in 2022. Finally, on January 31, the Senate voted 50-49 to confirm him.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted with Republicans against Goffman’s nomination. The senator promised to vote against all of Biden’s EPA nominees. He and the president have been sparring about environmental policy for years. Manchin was the only Democratic lawmaker to vote against the nomination.

Goffman’s office is responsible for writing climate and clean air rules. That includes the efforts by the Biden Administration to curb emissions from cars and power plants. His office is expected to release new standards for power plants that would put new limits on the amount of soot pollution allowed.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan issued a statement praising Goffman. He said the official is “uniquely skilled at building consensus among stakeholders” and creating policies that take on the global issue of climate change. Regan said Goffman is also good at “addressing longstanding pollution concerns in overburdened communities.”

Like Manchin, the other West Virginia senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, opposed the nominee. She accused Goffman of being a key author of regulations that killed jobs in both the Biden Administration and that of former President Barack Obama. The senator said Goffman’s policies “have been a disaster for our country.” She accused him of taking “a direct shot at American energy production.” Capito also spoke out about the new rules for power plants that he authored, saying they would have “disastrous consequences” for energy prices and the power grid across the nation.

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