The Senate April 30 confirmed an attorney and former House aide to serve as the Energy Department’s general counsel.
William Cooper, confirmed by a vote of 68-31, was nominated by President Donald Trump in January. His nomination was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on March 7.
His final confirmation vote was virtually assured after the nomination easily surmounted an April 29 cloture vote, 63-32.
The nominee also was voted out of committee in the last Congress but never received a floor vote.
The Trump administration resubmitted his nomination in the new Congress, but Cooper had to overcome another hurdle in recent months after Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) put a hold on four Energy Department nominees because of her concerns over plutonium shipments to Nevada.
Cortez Masto complained in March that the Energy Department shipped half a metric ton of weapons-grade radioactive plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada without first notifying state elected officials.
Senate Republican leaders countered the delay by advancing Cooper’s nomination by seeking cloture, which brought an end to further debate on the nominee and set up the final confirmation vote.
Cooper most recently served as senior counsel and director of the McConnell Valdes LLC law firm in Washington. Prior to joining the firm, he served as staff director for the House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee.
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