After secret plutonium shipment to Nevada, Senate Democrat puts hold on Energy Department nominees

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10: Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee members Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) (L) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) listen to witnesses during a hearing about consumer data privacy in the Russell Senate Office Building October 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Witnesses answered committee members' questions about the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is going to do her best to get in the way after the Department of Energy secretly shipped a half-ton of weapons-grade plutonium to her state. 

Cortez Masto, a Democrat, told the Nevada Independent that “I will be shining a bright light on the Department of Energy’s secret shipment of weapons-grade plutonium to Nevada,” and to do that, “Until I’ve gotten commitment from [Energy] Secretary [Rick] Perry that his agency will stop any further shipment and set a date for the removal of the plutonium already in the state, I will be putting a hold on all DOE nominees.”

Since Republicans have enough votes to confirm nominees without Democrats, Cortez Masto can’t entirely block them. But she can make the process take longer by forcing roll call votes. While she does that, Nevada has sued to block any more plutonium shipments. 

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