The Latest: Trump budget pick clears 2 committees

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Posted: Feb 02, 2017 12:05 PM
The Latest: Trump budget pick clears 2 committees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Senate action on President Donald Trump's nominees (all times local):

12:02 a.m.

President Donald Trump's pick to run the White House budget office has been approved by two Senate committees.

The Senate budget and homeland security committees approved South Carolina GOP Congressman Mick Mulvaney for a vote by the full Senate. The move came over the opposition of Democrats who warn of his support for cutting rising costs of Medicare and increasing the age for claiming Social Security benefits.

Mulvaney was among the tea party lawmakers who backed a government shutdown in 2013 in an attempt to block the Affordable Care Act from taking place. In 2011, he was among those against increasing the government's borrowing cap.

Mulvaney easily sidestepped a controversy in which he failed to pay payroll taxes on a nanny he employed from 2000-2004.

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11:20 a.m.

Republicans suspended Senate committee rules Thursday to muscle through President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency toward a confirmation vote after Democrats boycotted a meeting.

It was the latest sign of political hostilities on Capitol Hill as Senate Democrats used parliamentary procedure to delay votes on some of Trump's Cabinet nominees and Republicans used their slim Senate majority to advance and approve them.

The seats reserved for the 10 Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee were empty for a second consecutive day as the scheduled meeting to discuss to nomination of Scott Pruitt was gaveled to order. Committee rules required that at least two members of the minority party be present for a vote to be held.