Murkowski: Senate Should Act Quickly on Svinicki Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to act quickly on the Obama administration’s re-nomination of Dr. Kristen Svinicki to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a second term.

The Obama administration announced Thursday morning that it was sending Svinicki’s name to the Senate for consideration. Once the nomination is officially received by the Senate it will be referred to the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee (EPW) for consideration.

“I’m pleased that the administration has said they will re-nominate Commissioner Svinicki,” Murkowski said. “It’s legitimate if it takes a couple of weeks for EPW to consider her nomination and for the Majority Leader to bring it to the floor for a vote. But if it takes longer than that, then something is wrong and we will be right back here demanding answers.”

Murkowski made her comments Thursday during a Capitol press conference with Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky; John Barrasso, R-Wyoming; and Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama.

“Svinicki is one of the most respected commissioners ever to serve on the NRC. She’s an experienced and fair-minded regulator whose leadership has earned her the admiration of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle,” Murkowski said. “The unfounded charges that have been made against her are clearly laid to rest with a simple reading of the transcripts from her previous confirmation hearings. She was confirmed four years ago without a single dissenting vote. The only real issue that seems to be holding her up is that the Majority Leader is upset that she was one of four commissioners who brought concerns over NRC Chairman (Gregory) Jaczko’s behavior to the attention of the White House.”

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, met with Commissioner Svinicki on Tuesday and said she supported her nomination for a second term.

“At any agency, the type of behavior ascribed to the chairman would be unacceptable. But at an agency responsible for nuclear safety, it endangers the nation,” Murkowski said. “And then to try and punish those who spoke out about the problem is to place politics and personal allegiances above the safety of the nation.”