It’s Time to Confirm Gina McCarthy at EPA

Just two weeks ago, President Obama delivered a landmark speech where he outlined what his administration will do to make good on his promise to place climate change at the top of his second-term agenda. It was a call to action for his administration and for the nation, but he also reminded us that the Senate has a part to play:

“The woman that I’ve chosen to head up the EPA, Gina McCarthy, she’s worked — (applause) — she’s terrific. Gina has worked for the EPA in my administration, but she’s also worked for five Republican governors. She’s got a long track record of working with industry and business leaders to forge common-sense solutions. Unfortunately, she’s being held up in the Senate… The Senate should confirm her without any further obstruction or delay.”   —  President Obama, June 25, 2013

The cornerstone of the president’s climate plan is a new set of EPA safeguards against climate-disrupting carbon emissions from coal plants. The best way to make sure those protections are put into place quickly is to make sure the EPA is fully staffed and ready to get to work.

And that’s not all. The EPA is also considering historic protections against coal waste in our water, along with other safeguards to protect our air, water, and communities from big polluters. They’ll also advise the president as he decides whether or not to approve the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline.

It’s a lot to take on, but with her long track record and results-oriented approach, there’s no doubt that Gina McCarthy can hit the ground running. She’s ready to shoulder these responsibilities. Are your senators ready to shoulder theirs?

From historic new fuel efficiency standards that save us money at the pump to life-saving safeguards against soot, mercury and other toxics, Gina McCarthy has been on the front lines of our most critical public health battles. She has proven that she has what it takes to stand up for clean air, safe water, and the health of our communities.

Has some Republican placed a “secret hold” on her confirmation?  Is the Republican Minority mounting plans to filibuster her confirmation?  Is Senator Reid finally going to find some intestinal fortitude to FIX THE FILIBUSTER problem in the Senate?

It’s time for action.  Please take the time to write, email or call Senator Reid and Senator Heller:

 

Do We Need the Disclose Act or a Constitutional Amendment?

Democrats in Congress have been desperately trying to bring at least some transparency to this new avalanche of corporate spending we’ve been experiencing in our elections. They’ve been trying to pass legislation such that if corporations, millionaires and billionaires want to spend billions to cover up Mitt Romney’s lies — then at least, we the voters, should know where that money is coming from. In 2010 — Democrats in the House of Representatives passed the DISCLOSE Act, which would have done just that. Unfortunately — the DISCLOSE Act laws were filibustered that year by the Republican minority in the Senate.

So, Democrats in the Senate are now trying it again. On Tuesday, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and eight other Senate Democrats proposed a new, watered-down DISCLOSE Act, hoping that the latest, more corporate-friendly legislation may attract some Republicans supporters. But is this really the strategy Progressives should be using to get corporate money out of our politics. Or do we need to be bolder and push for a Constitutional Amendment that once and for all says corporations are not people, and money is property – not speech?

National Call-In Day to END the Obstruction

Today is a national call-in day to end the Republican obstruction of judicial nominees. Please call your senators now, with the toll-free number provided, and tell them: Americans are being denied justice, the judicial branch is in crisis and the obstruction must END.

Call Toll-Free:  1-866-338-5720

Republicans must feel the heat from their constituents and know that their partisan obstruction is not slipping under the radar. Democrats need to know that getting the president’s nominees confirmed is a priority to their constituents and they need to do everything in their power to help break the logjam and get the federal courts working again.

onstruction 165
Call your Senators toll-free
today.  Tell them to END the
Obstruction:  1-866-338-5720

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he will file petitions to end Republican filibusters of 17 federal district court nominees. With this extraordinary move, Sen. Reid is putting all the chips on the table, forcing the Republicans into a decision between doing what’s right and ending the blockade of judges or holding up all Senate business for several weeks.

George W. Bush spent eight years packing the federal judiciary with far-right ideologues. Now, Republicans don’t want to let even the most uncontroversial Obama nominees on the bench, even though many of the vacancies in the federal courts have now been deemed judicial emergencies.

Tell your senators it’s time to put the president’s qualified nominees on the bench where they belong — vote to end the filibusters.

Call toll-free: 1-866-338-5720

You can let us know how your call went with our Online call report form.

Thank you for your activism. Below are some statistics about the Republicans’ unprecedented obstruction.

— Marge Baker, Executive Vice President, People for the American Way

FACTS:

  • There are now 22 total pending nominees who have been approved by the Judiciary Committee who are waiting for a simple up-or-down vote from the Senate.
    • 16 were approved by the Judiciary Committee with very strong bipartisan support: of these, 10 were approved without any opposition at all, and 6 were approved with only one no vote.
    • 11 have been waiting for three months or more for a vote from the full Senate.
    • 11 are nominated to fill vacancies classified as judicial emergencies.
    • 15 of the 22 are women or people of color and one is an openly gay man.
  • While George W. Bush’s judicial nominees on average received floor votes very soon after committee approval, the opposite is true for President Obama’s nominees.
    • Circuit court nominees: 28 days (Bush at this point in his term) vs. 136 days (Obama)
    • District court nominees: 22 days (Bush at this point in his term) vs. 93 days (Obama)
  • The level of filibusters of district court nominations is unprecedented.
    • Before March 2012, cloture had only been filed on five district court nominees over the past 60 years, two of which were to end filibusters of Obama nominees.  As of now, 19 of the 22 district court filibusters of the past 60 years have been against Obama nominees.