WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., voted against the confirmation of Tom Perez to serve as Secretary of Labor and Gina McCarthy to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He is concerned the nominees would advance an agenda that ignores the values and will of rural states like Wyoming.
Enzi expressed skepticism that Perez would respect state right-to-work laws, given his favoritism toward labor unions and inadequate responses to questions about mine safety regulations.
“Wyoming is a right-to-work state and our state’s laws are not up for debate,” said Enzi. “Since his nomination by President Obama, I have had concerns about his ability to fairly represent the interests of both businesses and labor unions. The Department of Labor has had a definite partisan tilt under this Administration and been too willing to side with labor unions at the expense of small businesses.”
During Perez’s confirmation hearing in the Senate HELP Committee, Enzi asked the nominee various questions concerning mining regulations that could negatively impact Wyoming. The responses Enzi received were, “so inadequate that they only reinforced my concerns about this nomination.”
The Senate confirmed Perez by a vote of 54-46.
Gina McCarthy has played a leading role in environmental regulations that seek to ban coal as an energy source and disadvantage other traditional forms of energy. These regulations run contrary to the interests of Wyoming.
“The EPA has been used as a weapon by this Administration against any industry or entity that does not fit within the Administration’s political agenda,” said Enzi. “It’s been used to institute policies President Obama knows he cannot get through Congress and I believe that Ms. McCarthy will only continue this dangerous trend. The president’s energy agenda is an attack on Wyoming industry and workers, and will result in higher energy bills for our families. I cannot support a nominee that would advance regulations and red tape at the expense of America’s businesses and consumers.”
Enzi was also was concerned by reports that McCarthy contributed to politicizing the work of the EPA. Including an active role in settling lawsuits that benefited interest groups over taxpayers, and pushing questionable economic and scientific research as the basis for EPA regulations.
The Senate confirmed McCarthy by a vote of 59-40.