What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Freedom of Scientific Inquiry : Johnson Nomination/Vote to End Debate on the Nomination of Stephen L. Johnson to Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. (2005 senate Roll Call 115)
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Johnson Nomination/Vote to End Debate on the Nomination of Stephen L. Johnson to Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
senate Roll Call 115     Apr 28, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

According to Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), the Bush Administration has refused to provide scientific data requested by the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee concerning President Bush's "Clear Skies" air pollution initiative. In response, Senator Carper, a member of that committee, placed a "hold" on the nomination of Stephen L. Johnson to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Senate "hold" is an informal but increasingly popular practice of signaling opposition to a nomination or piece of legislation. At one extreme, a hold can be viewed as a threat to filibuster; at the other, a hold can be viewed as a simple request for notification that a specific nomination or policy is forthcoming in the legislative process. The subject of this vote was a motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Stephen L. Johnson to Administrator of the EPA, a motion which requires a sixty-vote majority for passage. If invoked, cloture limits debate and allows for a final vote on the nominee. Progressives voted against cloture but were quick to point out that their objections did not stem with the nominee but rather the Bush Administration's refusal to provide Congress with air quality data on the president's "Clear Skies" initiative. Conservatives voted to invoke cloture and argued that Johnson, a twenty-four year veteran of the agency, was the right man for the job given his scientific training and knowledge of the agency. "President Bush has found the right person to lead the EPA," remarked Senator Voinovich (R-OH). "[Johnson] knows the inner working and personnel of the agency." On a vote of 61-37, the motion to invoke cloture on the Johnson nomination was adopted and the nominee was subsequently approved by the Senate to head the EPA on a voice vote. The nominee was sworn in as EPA Administrator on May 2, 2005.

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