The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is more than 460 days without a leader confirmed by Congress, a record for the agency, The Washington Post reports.
NOAA is responsible for monitoring weather and climate and protecting the United States’ coastline. President Donald Trump nominated AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers on Oct. 16 to lead the agency, but Myers’ confirmation has stalled in the Senate.
The Department of Commerce, which oversees NOAA, blames “Senate obstructionists” for the delay, while critics point to alleged conflicts of interest involving AccuWeather and Myers’s lack of a formal science background as possibly dragging down GOP leadership’s ability to secure votes. Myers has committed to resigning from AccuWeather if confirmed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not put Myers’s confirmation up for vote in front of the Senate despite being confirmed in committee twice, according to WaPo.
NOAA is not the only agency that has operated for months without permanent leadership under Trump. NASA recently ended its time without a confirmed administrator after a record 15 months.
The Senate confirmed Jim Bridenstine, former-GOP rep. from Oklahoma, to lead NASA on April 19. Bridenstine’s confirmation was stalled for similar reasons to Myers’s, with senators pointing to Bridenstine’s lack of a formal science background and involvement in politics as issues.
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