FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2013
Sue Walitsky 202-224-4524 or
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin spoke out today at a scheduled markup session of the Environment and Public Works Committee against attempts to use procedural hurdles as a substitute for actual debate and votes on President Obama’s Cabinet nominees. Video of his full remarks can be viewed here.
“Not one single Republican showed up for today’s scheduled committee markup. This is very sad. This is obstructionism, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with Gina McCarthy. It has nothing to do with the answers she supplied this committee. It is Republican obstructionism.
“It is well past time for us to vote on this nomination. We know Gina McCarthy and she is well qualified for this position. Every senator had an opportunity to meet with her, and many took advantage of that. She has answered over 1000 questions, which is unprecedented. The maximum number before was in the three hundreds. When Lisa Jackson was confirmed, there were about 100 questions asked. The Republicans have used every opportunity to delay the confirmation process. The reason is not because of her qualifications, but because of their desire to obstruct the confirmation process of President Obama’s appointments. They don’t like some of her answers. I understand that. They don’t like the laws. This has nothing to do with her answers. It has to do with the fact that she answered them honestly. They don’t like that this administration is going to carry out the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
“This has been a pattern on the Republican side of the aisle with obstructing President Obama’s nominations. Yesterday we saw, in one of our committees, a technical rule used to block the vote for Tom Perez to be Secretary of Labor. This is a pattern of blocking confirmation votes for President Obama’s nominees for key cabinet positions. This is wrong. Do you want to know why some of us are going to be in favor of reforming the rules of the Senate? It’s because of abuses like this that we see the Republicans deploying every day. We are not going to let today’s failure of the Republicans to show up at this committee block the responsibilities that we have as Senators.”