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 TrumpOn North Korea, give Trump some credit Exclusive: Bannon says Rosenstein could be fired 'very shortly' GOP dissidents on cusp of forcing immigration votes 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 panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Google struggle to block terrorist content | Cambridge Analytica declares bankruptcy in US | Company exposed phone location data | Apple starts paying back taxes to Ireland Overnight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus 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 BarrassoSenate panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Watchdog to probe EPA email preservation MORE (R-Wyo.) should not schedule a hearing until Pruitt completes those items and senators have a chance to review them.

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“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 SchumerSchumer: Trump should take Kim Jong Un off 'trip coin' Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' Free traders applaud Trump as China tariff threat recedes 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 WhitehouseHouse easily passes prison reform bill backed by Trump Senate panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill Dems expand 2018 message to ‘draining the swamp’ MORE (D-R.I.), who called Pruitt’s selection “a sickening and saddening choice.”