U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding today's Committee vote on the nominations for Jeffery Baran and Stephen Burns to be members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Due to the change of the Senate rules, nominees only need a simple majority to pass. Therefore, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can force through unqualified nominees.

"It is vital to the security and reliability of our nation's energy needs for the members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to be independent, thoughtful, and highly qualified. While the nominees' dedication to public service is clearly demonstrated, I question the potential of their contribution to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission," said Vitter. "Unfortunately, thanks to Senator Reid's rule change limiting debate and minority rights in the Senate, we are heading down a dangerous avenue of potentially placing unqualified nominees into the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."

The Senate is expected to vote on the nominees next week.