WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners. Senators voted 52-46 to approve Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Senator John Barrasso, a Republican and the head of the chamber's environment committee, said Pruitt would improve the EPA by reforming and modernizing it.
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump choice for national security adviser, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, has turned down the offer, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, Feb. 16, citing two people familiar with the situation. Harward was offered the job after Michael Flynn resigned on Monday for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average scored its sixth straight record high on Thursday, Feb. 16, but just barely, while the S&P 500 edged lower due to declining energy stocks. It was a mixed day on wall Street as investors digested recent gains and sold banks that have been big winners in the "Trump rally" that has seen the S&P 500 rise about 5 percent so far in 2017, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 4 percent.
NEW YORK -- AT&T Inc. said on Thursday, Feb. 16, it would make its unlimited data plan available to all wireless customers who pay a monthly bill, days after rival Verizon Communications Inc announced an unlimited option. Previously, AT&T's plan, which includes unlimited data, talk and text for $100 a month for a single line, only applied to its DirecTV and U-Verse subscribers. Starting on Friday, it will be expanded to other customers.
WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Thursday, Feb. 16, nominated former National Labor Relations Board member R. Alexander Acosta to serve as U.S. secretary of labor, one day after Trump's original choice withdrew. Acosta is dean of the Florida International University College of Law in Miami and is Trump's first Hispanic nominee.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A NASA spacecraft has detected carbon-based materials, similar to what may have been the building blocks for life on Earth, on the Texas-sized dwarf planet Ceres that orbits between Mars and Jupiter in the main asteroid belt, scientists said on Thursday, Feb. 16.
TransCanada Corp, Canada's No. 2 pipeline operator, filed an application with Nebraska authorities to route its Keystone XL pipeline through the state, after U.S. President Donald Trump cleared the way for the project last month. In November 2015, the pipeline company withdrew the route application it had made to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, after then President Barack Obama denied a permit for the controversial project over environmental concerns.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate on Thursday, Feb. 16, narrowly confirmed South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney to serve as White House budget director in a 51-49 vote that largely followed party lines. Underscoring the rocky reception that President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees have had on Capitol Hill, the vote came as Republican Sen. John McCain opposed Mulvaney along with 46 Democrats and two independents. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Wednesday he was concerned about Mulvaney's opposition to defense spending.
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, conservative federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, beginning on March 20, the panel's Republican chairman said on Thursday, Feb. 16. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who will oversee the proceedings as head of the Judiciary Committee, said the hearing is likely to last three to four days.
WASHINGTON - A crisis over the relationship between President Donald Trump's aides and Russia deepened on Wednesday as a growing number of Trump's fellow Republicans demanded expanded congressional inquiries into the matter. Trump sought to focus attention on what he called criminal intelligence leaks about his ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn.