Inhofe declaring global warming a 'vast left wing conspiracy'. - April, 2013 [h/t David]
But not just any boycott. No, at least some of them decided it would be better to hang out with lobbyists at a nice lunch than do their damn jobs.
Weakening the EPA and obstructing its authority is a major priority for the polluting industries that fill many senators’ campaign war chests. At least three of the boycotting Republicans—Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)—won’t have to wait to hear the appreciation of their benefactors, since they’re raising money from the special interests impacted by EPA’s decisions on the same day as McCarthy’s vote.
- Sen. Barrasso was scheduled to attend a breakfast fundraiser this morning for his Common Values PAC at Charlie Palmer Steak House. The three lobbyists listed as hosts for the event work for Williams & Jensen, afirm representing American Chemistry Council and several electric utility companies that could be impacted by the EPA and its rulemaking decisions.
- Sen. Inhofe has lunch scheduled this afternoon at the the same place as Sen. Barrasso's event, Charlie Palmer's. Four of the lobbyists listed as hosts work for Fierce, Isakowitz, and Blalock. The firm's energy industry clients include BP, Noble Energy, and Edison International.
- Unfortunately, the invitation for Sen. Crapo's "Young Professionals Reception" for his Freedom Fund PAC on Thursday night at the National Republican Senatorial Committee does not have any hosts listed. Freedom Fund has not filed any fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) this year, but in the last election cycle, the PAC received $18,500 from electric utilities, $13,000 from oil and gas interests, and $22,000 from other energy interests.
Unfortunately, Senator Lautenberg wasn't well, so they didn't have a quorum to go ahead and vote on the nomination without the Boycott Boys, which is just fine with Republicans. After all, what's clean air and water when we can drill, baby, drill!
Senator Jeff Merkley wasn't a happy camper, either. I think he speaks for me in this statement:
“Gina McCarthy is eminently qualified to head the Environmental Protection Agency. She has impeccable credentials and has earned the praise of business leaders as well as Democrats and Republicans. It is sad that once again the business of the Senate is being held up by a minority of senators who are abusing Senate procedures to block an up or down vote. This is a pathetic dereliction of the constitutional duty to ‘advise and consent’ on executive branch nominees.”
Pathetic dereliction of constitutional duty. That sums it up nicely. Unfortunately, it isn't just limited to the EPA. Republicans are now refusing to approve nominees to the Independent Payment Advisory Board required by the Affordable Care Act. Because doing their duty would be tantamount to - gasp! - approving of Obamacare. Or something.