U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Republicans on the Committee today sent a letter to Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) requesting she wait to schedule the vote on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Boxer has recently told reporters she would schedule the hearing for May 8, 2013; however, McCarthy has yet to respond to most requests from EPW Committee Republicans.
Meanwhile, the nomination hearing of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison MacFarlane scheduled for Wednesday, April 24, 2013, was postponed indefinitely. Committee Republicans supported Chairman Boxer's delay while waiting for more information that she requested from MacFarlane on a nuclear facility in her state.
"We ask that you give us the same courtesy while we work through getting our questions for Gina McCarthy answered as well as the information we requested," the EPW Committee Republicans wrote to Chairman Boxer. "It's crucial that we receive the outstanding answers from both the nominee and the Agency to Committee members' questions for the record as well as the outstanding five requests made by the EPW Republicans."
Following the nomination hearing for Gina McCarthy, the EPW Republican Senators reiterated five concerns they have with the Agency and the expected responses, in order to ensure transparency.
A copy of the Senators' letter is below.
April 25, 2013
The Honorable Barbara Boxer
Committee on Environment and Public Works
410 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510-6175
Dear Chairman Boxer,
We are concerned by your recent statement that the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee may vote on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be EPA Administrator as early as May 8th. Before scheduling a vote, it is crucial that we receive the outstanding answers from both the nominee and the Agency to Committee members' questions for the record (QFRs) as well as the outstanding five requests made by the EPW Republicans. Those five requests simply ask for the Agency to conduct its work in a transparent and open manner as President Obama, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and the nominee have all publically committed to do.
EPW precedent illustrates that without answers to questions and information requests, it is not appropriate to move forward with the nominee. In a 2003 letter to the Chairman, Committee Democrats objected to moving forward with the nomination of Governor Leavitt as EPA Administrator in part due to their stance that, while they had received Leavitt's answers to their written questions, those answers were incomplete and insufficient.
In this context, we would note your recent decision to delay scheduling a nomination hearing for Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison MacFarlane pending submittal of information that you requested from her concerning a nuclear facility in your state. We ask that you give us the same courtesy while we work through getting our questions for Gina McCarthy answered as well as the information we requested.
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