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Rita Baranwal named to nuclear energy office

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the nuclear energy office Thursday — although both Nevada senators voted against the selection.

The Senate voted 86-5 to confirm Rita Baranwal to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Sen. Jacky Rosen, both Nevada Democrats, voted against the confirmation.

Cortez Masto had placed a hold on the Baranwal nomination earlier this year after the Energy Department shipped a half metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium into the state.

She lifted that hold after Energy Secretary Rick Perry agreed that the plutonium would eventually be moved from the state, beginning in 2021.

In addition to Cortez Masto and Rosen, other senators who voted against the nomination were Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, both of Massachusetts, and Brian Schatz of Hawaii. All are Democrats.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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