Washington, D.C. – Friday, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and five senior EPW members sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding recent reports of planned mass hires in light of the Agency’s vulnerable hiring practices.
“It appears EPA has made little progress in getting ‘its house’ in order since the John Beale scandal, and the Agency may be vulnerable to greater abuses through recently-planned mass hires,” wrote the Senators. “We question the integrity of your Agency’s reasoning behind hiring the equivalent of 30 new employees each business day, ostensibly to inflate your staffing levels before the congressional appropriations process, which is concerning considering the Agency’s failure to revise and correct its hiring practices.”
Last week, it was reported that EPA plans to hire 458 employees by the end of September. In today’s letter, the Senators question the EPA’s motivation behind the mass hires and what measures have been taken to correct its hiring practices in light of an EPA Office of Inspector General audit, which found EPA’s hiring process was “at risk of hiring an applicant based on false information and may not hire the best-qualified candidate.”
Last year, as the top Republican on EPW, Vitter released a staff report entitled, “EPA’s Playbook Unveiled: A Story of Fraud, Deceit, and Secret Science,” detailing convicted con artist and former EPA senior official John Beale’s role in major policy decisions at the Agency, which shed light on EPA’s vulnerable hiring practices. Click here to read more.
The Senators signing today’s letter are David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure; James Inhofe (R-Okla.); Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety; Mike Crapo (R-Idaho); John Boozman (R-Ark.); Michael Rounds (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Affairs; and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife.