Gina McCarthy's EPA Nomination Blocked By Senate Republicans Who Miss Scheduled Vote

By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers on Thursday blocked a confirmation vote on President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, saying they were "completely unsatisfied" with answers provided by Gina McCarthy on several topics.

All eight Republicans on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works boycotted a scheduled vote on McCarthy's confirmation after a request to delay the meeting was turned down.

At least two Republicans were needed for the committee vote to go ahead, according to committee rules.

In a statement, the lawmakers said that they had made "five very reasonable and basic requests in conjunction with the nomination of Gina McCarthy, which focus on openness and transparency."

"While you have allowed EPA adequate time to fully respond before any mark-up on the nomination, EPA has stonewalled on four of the five categories," they said in a letter to committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, who had denied the request to postpone the nomination vote.

In recent weeks the Republicans submitted over 1,000 questions to the nominee, who is currently the EPA's top air quality official, on topics ranging from the agency's email policies to its approach to economic analysis. (Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Writing by Ros Krasny; Editing by Vicki Allen)



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