Hold on Obama’s EPA Nominee Might Be Lifted This Week
Blunt holding up Gina McCarthy's nod after Vitter lifted his filibuster threat.
July 14, 2013 - 12:06 am
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, accused Democrats of a “partisan power grab,” noting that President Obama has secured the confirmation of almost every nominee he has submitted and the Republican lawmakers are simply “fulfilling their constitutional obligations to scrutinize each nominee.”
“I know Washington Democrats are getting a lot of pressure from Big Labor union bosses and other Far-Left elements of their base to do this,” McConnell said. “These folks have told Democrats it’s time to pay up and they don’t have much time for things like the democratic process or the rule of law.”
McConnell added that majorities of either party “will never get everything they want. That push and pull is the hallmark of a healthy democracy. And one day, when they are invariably returned to the minority, I suspect my Democrat friends will thank us for standing up for these democratic rights.”
Vitter said as a result of his McCarthy filibuster threat the EPA has agreed to enhance the agency’s response to Freedom of Information Act requests and issue new guidance on the use of personal email accounts – a ploy used by former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to avoid providing Congress with certain information it requested.
The agency also has agreed to a review of the way it determines the economic impact of its various regulatory proposals and provide more public information on closed-door settlement agreements with environmental groups, a process known as “sue and settle.”
But Vitter also made clear that he will remain a no vote on the motion to proceed to the nominations of Perez and Cordray.
Blunt, meanwhile, is standing firm in reaction to the Obama administration’s failure to meet a self-imposed March 15 deadline to arrive at the facts surrounding the Bayou-New Madrid Floodway Project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have all expressed different and opposing views of the venture.
“I am not asking the federal government to spend a dime or for the agencies to green light the project’s construction,” Blunt said. “All I’ve asked is for three government agencies to agree on a simple set of facts.”