GOP senators boycott vote on EPA nominee

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Senate Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted Thursday morning's hearing on Gina McCarthy's nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency over transparency concerns that have gone unanswered.

"For too long EPA has failed to deliver on the promises of transparency espoused by President Barack Obama, former Administrator Lisa Jackson, and by Gina McCarthy," the eight Republicans said in a statement this morning.

"Accordingly, the Republicans on the 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 said.

The senators released five transparency concerns they had with the EPA in April, including questions about open records violations, email policies, data access, "sue-and-settle" agreements and the agency's method of economic analysis.

The hearing was scheduled for 9:15 a.m. But without a quorum of members present, the committee will not be able to vote on McCarthy's nomination.

The senators asked the committee's chairwoman, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., on April 25  to postpone Thursday morning's hearing until the EPA answered their transparency questions, but they were denied, according to their letter.

The eight Republicans are David Vitter, R-La..;  James Inhofe, R-Okla..; John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Jeff Sessions, R-Ala..; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; John Boozman, R-Ark.;  and Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

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