"As you know, all Republicans on our EPW committee have asked EPA to honor five very reasonable and basic requests in conjunction with the nomination of Gina McCarthy which focus on openness and transparency," they wrote. "While you have allowed EPA adequate time to fully respond before any markup on the nomination, EPA has stonewalled on four of the five categories.
"Because of this, no Republican member of the Committee will attend today's mark-up if it is held."
The committee members present at today's vote agreed that Ms. McCarthy did answer their questions, and in fact answered more than 1,000 questions—an unprecedented amount, they said—but that the Republican members simply didn't get the answers they wanted.
"This is wrong," said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., in the meeting. "The Republicans have used every opportunity to delay the confirmation process, not because of her qualifications, but because of their desire to obstruct the confirmation process on President Obama's appointments."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., encouraged the committee to reconvene in the near future with at least 10 majority votes, enough to bring the nomination to the floor.
"If we don't exercise majority rule, we are more to blame than they are," he said. "We are not responding to the needs of the American people if there is not an EPA administrator."
Ms. Boxer agreed that, if forced to, they would take the necessary action to move forward with the nomination, whether by bringing the action to the Senate floor or by changing the rules of the committee.
"We intend to keep on pushing, and we invite them back to do their job," Ms. Boxer said during the hearing.
In delaying the vote, the Republicans cited a committee rule which requires at least two members of the minority party to be present for there to be official a quorum.
This report appeared in Waste & Recycling News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.