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Sierra Club Statement on Senate Obstruction of Executive Branch Nominees

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Contact: 
Trey Pollard, Sierra Club, (202) 495-3058

 

For Immediate Release    

 (Washington, DC) – Unrelenting and consistent obstruction in the 113th Senate has blocked numerous executive branch and judicial nominees from advancing – including Gina McCarthy and Thomas Perez, nominees for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and Labor Secretary.

This week, the Fix the Senate Now Coalition – of which the Sierra Club is a member – released an ad noting that this unprecedented obstruction is occurring the same month that then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TX) threatened to change rules in the Republican-controlled Senate to confirm President George W. Bush’s nominations eight years ago. An agreement by fourteen Senators over nominees ended that logjam.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement in response:

“Whether it was minority leader Mitch McConnell filibustering his own bill or a committee full of Republicans not showing up to work to delay the appointment of Gina McCarthy, there is no shortage of evidence that Senate Republicans will do or say anything to stand in the way of a functioning government.

In the meantime, the agencies in charge of protecting our air and water and defending the rights of workers and consumers are left without leaders and the courtrooms where our laws are enforced are left without judges.

The cost of these political games is too high for American families and for our democracy. There is no excuse for sidelining highly-qualified nominees like Gina McCarthy and Thomas Perez any longer. It’s time responsible Senators stood up to the gridlock by pursuing reforms to fix the Senate and ensure a functioning government can no longer be held hostage by a handful of reckless ideologues.”

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