WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Jon Tester (D-MT), chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), agreed to authorize the issuance of a subpoena to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy or Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus, to testify before the SCIA at an upcoming oversight field hearing on “Examining EPA’s Unacceptable Response to Indian Tribes.” The field hearing will be held on April 22, 2016, in Phoenix, AZ. Committee rules authorize the issuance of a subpoena by either the agreement of the chair and vice chair or by a majority vote of the committee.
Stanislaus was invited to testify at the field hearing but the EPA declined to send him. Notice of the field hearing was issued on March 28, 2016. The request for the subpoena was made by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) at a legislative hearing of the SCIA on April 6, 2016.
At the beginning of a SCIA legislative hearing Barrasso delivered the following remarks.
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
Chairman Barrasso’s remarks:
“The committee had scheduled a business meeting to consider authorizing the issuance of a subpoena of Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Under the committee Rules, a subpoena may be authorized upon agreement of the chair and vice chair or by majority vote of the committee.
“Vice Chairman Senator Tester and I have agreed today to authorize issuing a subpoena on Administrator McCarthy or her Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus to attend.
“I want to thank Vice Chairman Tester for his support in securing a witness to the hearing.
“However, it troubles me that this committee had to take the extraordinary step of issuing a subpoena to a confirmed federal official.
“During the confirmation process Gina McCarthy agreed under oath that, if confirmed, she would appear before Congressional committees with respect to her responsibilities.
“She further agreed, under oath, to ensure testimony and other documents would be provided to Congressional committees in a timely manner.
“Despite this sworn testimony, the EPA refused to provide any witness to the committee field hearing to be held on April 22, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.
“That hearing would continue our oversight of the EPA’s response to the devastating toxic spill that it had caused and of the agency’s responsibility to the Indian communities it had harmed.
“I am troubled further that the EPA would disregard such failures and attempt to avoid the responsibility by refusing to appear before the committee and answer questions.
“This sort of behavior is unbecoming of any federal official and won’t be tolerated.
“The subpoena will be served on EPA later today.
“With that, I look forward to a productive and meaningful hearing in Phoenix on April 22nd.”