(Washington, DC) – Today, each and every one of the eight Republican members of the Senate Committee for Environment and Public Works refused to do their jobs, failing to attend the confirmation hearing for EPA nominee Gina McCarthy and delaying a confirmation vote despite receiving answers to more than 1,000 questions they submitted to the nominee.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement in response:
“This latest attempt by Republicans in the Senate to derail progress to protect our air, our water and the health of our families is nothing short of cowardly. David Vitter and his ilk have tried everything to push the agenda of big polluters, constantly and grossly abusing the Senate rules with filibusters, holds, and delays. Now, they are simply shirking their duties to show up and legislate.
This is the latest incident of Republican obstructionism in the Senate and further evidence of why we must fix the senate rules, and fix them now. As Senator Boxer noted, Gina McCarthy is one of the most qualified and most broadly-supported EPA nominees in history. With 25 years of experience, she has worked with five Republican Governors and been praised by everyone from massive utility companies, Reagan-era officials, and even Senator James Inhofe.
But big polluters - and not logic – clearly run the show for Senate Republicans. They’ve tried to slow-walk her nomination by asking more than 1000 questions of McCarthy that she has since answered. The Republican Senators who sat on their hands in their offices today won’t just have to answer to future generations about their opposition to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities – they’ll also have to answer about why they refused to do the jobs they were elected to do.”