Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Vitter (R-LA) and other Republican senators on the U.S. Senate Committee for Environment and Public Works boycotted a scheduled committee vote to move Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Nominee Gina McCarthy’s confirmation to the full Senate, thus delaying her confirmation. Sarah Higginbotham, State Director with Environment Oregon, issued the following statement in response:
“By boycotting the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the EPA, it’s clear that Senator Vitter is doing the polluters’ bidding. McCarthy’s stellar track record of delivering real results for clean air and clean water—under Republican and Democratic administrations alike— make her eminently qualified to protect the country’s environment. However, today we saw how low Senator Vitter will stoop to block the EPA from doing its job to protect Oregonians’ health and environment. Senator Vitter’s claim that he still doesn’t have enough information to make a simple up or down vote on McCarthy’s nomination is laughable, especially after having his record 653 questions regarding Gina’s nomination answered by EPA staff.
“We want to applaud Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley for calling out this irresponsible tactic, and for his support of Gina McCarthy to lead the EPA in its exceptionally important work.
“From air pollution that triggers hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks each year, to water pollution that threatens the drinking water of tens of millions of Americans, the problems that threaten Oregonians’ health and our environment need solutions—not more political stunts by polluters and their Senate allies. We urge Senator Vitter and his Republican colleagues on the committee to do their job and vote so that Gina McCarthy can start doing her job in tackling our most urgent environmental and public health challenges.”