The Senate is expected to pass a bill that would block President Barack Obama’s selections to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, the Commerce Department and the Department of Labor, according to two Senate sources familiar with the effort.
The Senate’s vote could come as soon as this week, the sources said.
If it passes, the measure would block Obama’s picks to lead EPA and the Commerce and Labor departments.
The White House has said it will not nominate any EPA administrator, and it has said that no other agency or department has been blocked.
The Republican effort, which would block nominees to head the departments of Energy, the Interior Department, the Labor Department and Department of Transportation, is backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the president himself.
Ryan is expected in Washington on Tuesday for a private meeting with White House chief of staff John Kelly, the source said.
In addition to the Commerce department, Ryan’s plan would block the nominations of the chief executives of the four major companies that are in charge of regulating air pollution: Aetna, AIG, Walmart, and General Electric.
The House bill would block nominations to head agencies that regulate the mining, oil, gas, mining and manufacturing industries, including the National Park Service, the Environmental Conservation Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
While the White House opposes the House bill, Ryan said Wednesday that he was still open to the possibility of legislation that would allow for more nominees to fill vacant posts.
“I think there’s a chance to get a compromise that gives us more nominees, but also lets the president know that there’s an opportunity to do something in the future,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s plan to block Obama nominees to lead agencies is in direct conflict with the White and Senate parties’ promises not to nominate nominees to run the Environmental Protect Agency.
Republicans in the Senate are planning to hold hearings in the coming weeks on the EPA nomination process.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue in late January.
Ryan, however, said Wednesday the Senate bill is not the one that will get the White Senate majority.
Ryan said he had no intention of trying to force a vote on the legislation if the House passes it.
“It’s my intention to pass the bill if it gets a majority,” Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Last week, Ryan, then chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said he would oppose a Senate bill that prevented the president from naming any nominees for the Cabinet positions, citing the president’s repeated veto threats against the EPA and other federal agencies.
The GOP legislation would block any EPA nominees from being confirmed.
It would also block the EPA from requiring that nominees for cabinet positions be confirmed by the Senate, which Ryan has said is an impediment to his goal of making the president more effective in his role.
Earlier this week , Ryan was also asked by Fox News if he thought the president was making the right decision not to fill those Cabinet posts, to which Ryan replied, “No, I don’t.
It’s not a good decision.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.