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by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

May 9, 2013 - 6:26 pm

Republicans blocked the nomination of President Obama’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency today, sparking cries from Democrats that they were engaging in obstructionism.

The eight Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee — Ranking Member David Vitter (La.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Roger Wicker (Miss.), John Boozman (Ark.), and Deb Fischer (Neb.) — didn’t show up for the nomination vote of Gina McCarthy after committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) denied a request to delay the vote.

“For too long EPA has failed to deliver on the promises of transparency espoused by President Barack Obama, former Administrator Lisa Jackson, and by Gina McCarthy. Accordingly, the Republicans on the EPW Committee have asked EPA to honor five very reasonable and basic requests in conjunction with the nomination of Gina McCarthy, which focus on openness and transparency,” the GOP senators said in a statement this morning. “While Chairman Boxer has allowed EPA adequate time to fully respond before any mark-up on the nomination, EPA has stonewalled on four of the five categories.  We ask and expect that Chairman Barbara Boxer will follow the rules of the Committee and the full U.S. Senate.”

They sent Boxer a letter explaining why they were ditching. “In 2003, Democratic members of the EPW Committee chose not to attend the scheduled mark-up of Michael Leavitt as President Bush’s nominee to head the EPA, pending the EPA’s responding more fully to their requests. Then-Chairman Inhofe followed the rules cited above and scheduled an official mark-up for two weeks later.  We ask and expect that you do the same,” it said.

The senators also held a press conference to elaborate. “The new nominee to be EPA Administrator has been extremely unresponsive with the information we requested,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). “We’re not asking to amend any bedrock environmental laws.  We’re asking for access to the scientific data and reasoning behind the justification for expensive new rules and regulations that continue to cause high unemployment. We’re simply requesting that Ms. McCarthy and this Administration honor its commitment to transparency—that’s what they promised.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) called the GOP block “very sad.”

“This is obstructionism, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with Gina McCarthy. It has nothing to do with the answers she supplied this committee. It is Republican obstructionism,” he said.

“This has been a pattern on the Republican side of the aisle with obstructing President Obama’s nominations. Yesterday we saw, in one of our committees, a technical rule used to block the vote for Tom Perez to be Secretary of Labor.  This is a pattern of blocking confirmation votes for President Obama’s nominees for key cabinet positions. This is wrong,” Cardin continued. “Do you want to know why some of us are going to be in favor of reforming the rules of the Senate? It’s because of abuses like this that we see the Republicans deploying every day. We are not going to let today’s failure of the Republicans to show up at this committee block the responsibilities that we have as senators.”

“Today’s action by Senate Republicans blocking a vote on Gina McCarthy’s nomination is disappointing and destructive – paralyzing partisan gamesmanship at its worst,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). “My former Connecticut colleague is well-respected in the environmental and business community for her dedication to listening and developing practical solutions to environmental challenges. She protects environmental values and polices while enhancing economic opportunity. These obstructionist tactics undermine public leadership in safeguarding our environment.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (7)
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block the nomination, block the funding, block anything involving epa, except abolishing it!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who are we trying to kid. Schoolmarm "O" will just declare the Senate in recess and appoint who he wants. They are already ignoring a Federal judge's ruling on the Labor Relation's Board appointees, what is another recess appointment, over the protests of the opposition? It isn't like anyone in the MSM will write about it.

The Dems should just be very careful about how much power they put into the majority's hands. One day, possibly as soon as 2014, there will be Republicans handling the levers of power in the Senate. Does Boxer really think it's a good idea to set the precedent of ignoring Senate rules, just to appoint some ideologue to the EPA?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hope the loyal opposition will continue to loyally oppose all of these leftist radical nominees. It may not be pretty, but our system of government nowhere requires the minority to lay down and take anything placed before it.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Key words - Dems Cry.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment

Liberal Democrat CT Senator, Richard Blumenthal, accused Senate Republicans who blocked this vote of "paralyzing partisan gamesmanship at its worst." Of nominee, Gina McCarthy, Blumenthal stated: "My former Connecticut colleague is well-respected in the environmental and business community for her dedication to listening and developing practical solutions to environmental challenges. She protects environmental values and polices while enhancing economic opportunity. These obstructionist tactics undermine public leadership in safeguarding our environment."

Well, Senator Blumenthal, I have a few questions for you. Which side of the environmental fence does she sit, and when was the last time you took a look at the bizarre skies of CT? Is this just another fanatical environmentalist, worshipping at the altar of control and anti-capitalism? Is she aware that global warming has been debunked as junk science...yes, a fraud perpetrated on humanity?

Have you read Harrison Schmitt's and William Harper's 5/9/2013 WSJ Op-Ed: "In Defense of Carbon Dioxide" or Steven Goddard's research and calculations finding that U.S. temperatures have dropped almost 3C over the past year?

Senator Blumenthal, are you aware of growing alarm, anger and protests in the United States and Europe over aggressive aerial aerosol spraying? While Attorney General for CT, you became an advocate for CT residents denied proper treatment for chronic Lyme Disease because your office determined that there was collusion between big insurance companies and the CDC. What are you doing to investigate the vast amounts of chemical toxins being sprayed into the environment? What has your EPA nominee done to investigate what solar scientist, Dane Wigington calls as crimes against humanity?

Did global warming fanatics create a problem that never existed? Are these aerial chemical invasions being staged to correct a dire problem in the environment because of the wreckless actions of global warming fanatics?

Will wait for your answer.

And to Senate Republicans...the country needs an immediate investigation into what is happening over the skies of America.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It may be the right thing to do for the right reasons but it comes off as tit for tat by Republicans against a Dem nominee. Might be nice to see some salient talking points about more than some vague accusation about lack of transparency. That just sounds like D.C. insider hokum to justify tweaking Obama and his pick.

All media will do is pick up outraged Dems making what appear to be legit claims of politicization. We need hard hitting and easy to comprehend examples of what is so bad.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
More like obstructing the obstructionists as Obama will only appoint a productivity obstructionist to the EPA..
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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