GOP Senators Boycott Vote on New EPA Chief

Democrats accuse them of obstructionism
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2013 12:28 PM CDT
Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency, pauses while speaking at a climate workshop sponsored by The Climate Center at Georgetown University, Feb. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Republicans on the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee refused to show up yesterday for a vote to confirm President Obama's nominee to head the EPA, complaining that Gina McCarthy hadn't responded to their inquiries. "We're not asking to amend any bedrock environmental laws," Wyoming's John Barrasso said, according to the LA Times. "We're asking for access to the scientific data and reasoning behind the justification for expensive new rules and regulations."

Democrats painted it as another instance of the GOP's obstructionism, saying McCarthy had been asked more than 1,000 questions, an unprecedented number. "This isn't Mr. Romney's Cabinet … so don't be that shocked that you may not agree" with the nominee's views, Barbara Boxer said. Their move, she added, "shows their pledge to do better with women voters is false." But Republicans noted that in 2003 Democrats boycotted a George W. Bush EPA nominee because they wanted more information as well. (Read more Gina McCarthy stories.)

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