A Democratic senator on Wednesday seemed to compare President Trump’s nominee for a spot on the White House Council on Environmental Quality to a horse.
Just before a confirmation vote on Kathleen Hartnett White’s nomination, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island suggested the nominee is such a puppet of the fossil fuel industry that her appointment would be akin to a historic leader granting his horse a job.
“There is a popular legend of the Emperor Caligula appointing his horse to the Roman Senate. Had he done that, it would have raised important questions, but the real questions would not have been about the horse. The horse was just a horse,” Mr. Whitehouse said, recounting a legend that Caligula considered appointing his horse to a top position.
“The real questions would have been about the Emperor Caligula and the spine of the Roman Senate. Discussing the merits of the horse would be pointless,” Mr. Whitehouse continued. “Approving this nominee for CEO would be so preposterous that it would be like appointing Caligula’s horse. In that the real question becomes about the power of our fossil fuel emperors and the spine of the Senate.”
Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican and chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, blasted the comment.
“Let me just say that comparing Ms. White to a horse, as one of our Democrat colleagues just did, to me is a new low. It’s disturbing, it’s demeaning, and it’s dehumanizing,” he said.
Ms. Hartnett White was approved by the committee following the back-and-forth about Caligula’s horse.