Eight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division
The Senate voted 58-41 Tuesday to confirm Todd Kim to lead the Justice Department’s environmental office, with eight Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with all the chamber's Democrats.
Kim is set to be sworn in as assistant attorney general for the department’s environment and natural resources division, where he spent seven years before serving as the Department of Energy’s deputy general counsel for litigation, regulation and enforcement.
He also spent 11 years as Washington, D.C.'s first solicitor general. Then-President Obama nominated him to the D.C. Court of Appeals twice in 2014 and 2015, but Kim did not receive a Senate vote in either case.
In the Justice Department position, Kim will be responsible for enforcement of federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. He is the first Asian American to hold the position, a milestone highlighted by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.
GOP Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.), Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.), Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Texas), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) voted with Democrats to confirm Kim. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-Ind.) did not vote.