Dem: EPA pick should answer questions before hearing

Dem: EPA pick should answer questions before hearing

The top Democrat on the panel considering President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Tuesday he is not ready to host hearings on the potential administrator’s confirmation.

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Overnight Energy: California regulators vote to close nuclear plant | Watchdog expands Pruitt travel probe | Washington state seeks exemption from offshore drilling plan Overnight Regulation: Fight erupts over gun export rules | WH meets advocates on prison reform | Officials move to allow Medicaid work requirements | New IRS guidance on taxes MORE (D-Del.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said Scott Pruitt has not yet responded to a list of about 50 questions the panel’s Democrats sent and that Pruitt's standard FBI background check is not complete.

Carper said committee Chairman John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTrump’s infrastructure plan may slip to next month Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism Trump's infrastructure team to huddle with senators MORE (R-Wyo.) should not schedule a hearing until Pruitt completes those items and senators have a chance to review them.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We would certainly want to have responses to the seven pages of questions,” Carper told reporters Tuesday.

“We want to have the opportunity to review those questions and maybe ask some follow-up questions to them if the responses are not comprehensive. And we’d want to have a chance to drill down on the FBI review of this nominee, as we would for any other nominee,” he said.

Carper’s concerns align with those of Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (D-N.Y.), who has accused the president-elect and Senate Republicans of trying to rush nominees through the confirmation process.

Schumer has said in recent days that many of Trump’s Cabinet nominees have not gone through federal ethics reviews, answered senators’ questions or completed background checks. Until those steps are taken, Schumer said, the Senate should not move forward on confirmations.

Pruitt, the current attorney general of Oklahoma, has completed his ethics review and financial disclosures.

Carper sent Pruitt the questionnaire nearly two weeks ago. It included general questions like Pruitt’s outlook on the EPA’s mission, along with specific questions such as the funding history of his office.

Carper met with Pruitt last week and said he has “grave concerns.” Other Democrats have been more forceful, like Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Trump, Kushner meet with advocates on prison reform Democrats search for Russians — any Russians — for collusion story MORE (D-R.I.), who called Pruitt’s selection “a sickening and saddening choice.”