On Friday, Donald Trump's controversial nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, was confirmed by the Senate.
By voting 52 to 46 along mostly party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate narrowly approved President Trump's choice of Pruitt as the new EPA director in what environmental leaders view as a cruel joke.
Pruitt served six years as Oklahoma's attorney general and was closely aligned with oil and gas companies in his home state, whose executives backed his political campaigns.
He assumes control of an agency that under former president Barack Obama was responsible for implementing sweeping environmental regulations governing clean air and water, greenhouse gases and vehicle fuel emissions.
"Pruitt's record and public statements strongly suggest that he does not share the vision or agree with the underlying principles of our environmental laws", the former employees said in their letter.
Pruitt promised senators last month that his "cooperative federalism" approach would not mean an end to nationwide environmental regulation, but rather "meaningful collaboration between the EPA and the states to achieve important environmental objectives".
According to Capito, Pruitt answered more than 200 direct questions from committee members during his confirmation hearing and more than 1,000 follow-up questions.
Humana and Aetna call off $34 billion buyout
The suit argues Cigna has lawfully ended the merger agreement and that Anthem is not permitted to extend the termination date. Aetna also gave up its proposal to sell Medicare Advantage assets to Molina Healthcare Inc .
Democrats railed all night on the Senate floor against Mr. Pruitt and urged Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, to delay the confirmation vote until after next Tuesday, when the Oklahoma attorney general's office is under order to release about 3,000 of Mr. Pruitt's emails related to his communications with the fossil fuel industry.
Two Democrats, both from coal-heavy states, voted in favor of cloture and support Pruitt. Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly said on the floor early Friday that he could not support the nomination of Scott Pruitt "who has sued the EPA to stop the sale of [ethanol] and who praised the erosion of a policy created to strengthen our energy security and to promote homegrown Hoosier biofuels".
In a post to its official Twitter account immediately after the vote, EPA said "We'd like to congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his confirmation!"
On the other side of the aisle, only one Republican senator has said she will vote against his nomination.
"EPA has made life hard for families all across America", said Sen. Two senators, Joe Donnelly of IN and John McCain of Arizona, were not present for the vote.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was narrowly confirmed Friday afternoon to lead the federal agency he built a career fighting. Lawmakers also asking to delay the confirmation vote, so they can review emails between Pruitt and the fossil fuel industry.
"It was wrong to hold this vote today, before senators and the American people have had the chance to see the full truth about Scott Pruitt".