The Latest: Senate confirms Trump pick for No. 2 job at EPA

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The Latest on Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump's nominee for the No. 2 post at the Environmental Protection Agency (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

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The Senate has confirmed a former coal industry lobbyist to be the second-highest official at the Environmental Protection Agency.

As the EPA's deputy administrator, Andrew Wheeler will be next in line to lead the agency if embattled administrator Scott Pruitt is forced out or resigns.

The Senate confirmed Wheeler Thursday 53-45. Three Democrats — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — joined with Republicans to approve Wheeler.

Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico had called for the vote to be delayed while lawmakers review Wheeler's credentials, citing Pruitt's uncertain status amid damaging ethics disclosures. His request was denied.

Wheeler worked at the EPA in the early 1990s and was staff chief of the Senate Environment Committee before becoming a lobbyist.

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10:50 a.m.

Republicans have cleared a procedural hurdle to confirm a former coal industry lobbyist as the No. 2 official at the Environmental Protection Agency.

If confirmed as deputy administrator, Andrew Wheeler would be next in line to lead if embattled administrator Scott Pruitt is forced out or resigns.

The Senate voted 53-45 Thursday to limit debate on Wheeler's nomination, clearing a final vote as soon as Thursday afternoon. Three Democrats joined with Republicans to move the nomination forward. They are Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico called for the vote to be delayed while lawmakers review Wheeler's credentials to run the agency, citing Pruitt's uncertain status amid damaging ethics disclosures.

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12:11 a.m.

Senate Republicans are moving to confirm a former coal industry lobbyist as the second-highest official at the Environmental Protection Agency, putting him next in line if embattled administrator Scott Pruitt were forced out.

A Senate vote could come as soon as Thursday on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as the EPA's deputy administrator.

The push comes as Democrats and a few Republicans are calling on President Donald Trump to replace Pruitt, whose tenure has been threatened by a series of damaging ethics disclosures. If confirmed, Wheeler would be poised to become the agency's active chief, at least temporarily, if Pruitt were to leave.

Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico called on Republicans to delay a vote on Wheeler while lawmakers review his credentials to run the agency, citing Pruitt's uncertain status.