Gina McCarthy’s confirmation vote in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today was blocked by a Republican boycott of the committee’s scheduled meeting. By not showing up, the panel’s Republican members prevented the quorum necessary for a vote to proceed.
Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen issued the following statement:
“It is outrageous that today the Republicans chose to boycott the confirmation vote of Gina McCarthy to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By not showing up, they have put the interests of polluters over those of the tens of millions of Americans currently exposed to dangerous levels of air and water pollution and threatened by the increasingly harmful impacts of climate change, including extreme weather.
“Gina McCarthy has a long and respected career working in a bipartisan fashion to protect our environment. She has worked at the state level for Republican governors and served as assistant administrator at the EPA during the first term of the Obama administration. She received quick confirmation as the head of the EPA’s clean air division in 2009 and she deserves the same treatment this time.
“During the committee hearing process, McCarthy gracefully answered more than a thousand questions submitted by committee members—the most ever asked of a nominee for EPA administrator.
“It is no secret that these Senators have long sought to pummel the EPA on behalf of polluters, but ignoring their responsibility to confirm the leadership of the agency won’t make it go away.”