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By Maria Recio – American-Statesman special correspondent

President Trump renominated six Texans for senior positions Monday, including two nominees for environmental posts: Former Texas comptroller Susan Combs and Kathleen Hartnett White, a former chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality whose nomination has generated considerable controversy from Democrats.


The nominations were among dozens from around the country that the White House sent to the U.S. Senate again because of a Senate rule that nominations will not carry over into another calendar year without unanimous consent.

In some cases, like Hartnett White’s nomination to be chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee publicly criticized her for her doubts about man-made climate change. Her nomination was approved by Republicans on the panel but Democrats delayed her vote on the floor.

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Combs, who was nominated in July to be an assistant secretary of interior, has had her nomination stalled by the logjam of positions that haven’t by filled in the environmental area. She was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources in August.

The other Texas nominees:

  • James E. Trainor, III, a partner in the Austin office of Akerman LLP, was nominated to be a member of the Federal Election Commission for a term expiring April 30, 2023.
  • Brett Giroir, a former CEO of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and now president and CEO of Houston biotech ViraCyte of Texas, was nominated to be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service and to be an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • Brian D. Montgomery, a former housing official in the George W. Bush Administration, was nominated to be an Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development/Federal Housing Commissioner, a position is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, Deputy General Counsel to the Plano-based First Liberty Institute, was renominated to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.

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