The Environmental Protection Agency doesn't think the numbers add up on the complaints raised by Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware over unanswered letters.
"We've responded to 386 of the 416 letters received from Congress, including 11 of the 20 letters received from" Carper, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox, citing EPA's latest tally conducted Tuesday.
Carper raised the issue Tuesday at a confirmation hearing for Susan Bodine, President Trump's pick to lead the agency's enforcement and compliance office.
Carper and his Democratic colleagues on the committee have sent EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt letters almost continuously on everything from the budget to issues over conflict of interest, to more technical concerns. The 416 letters works out to more than three a day since Pruit was confirmed Feb. 20.
"The minority remains disappointed that the committee has not received complete written responses from Administrator Pruitt to 11 oversight letters the committee has sent to the EPA this year," Carper said.
But Wilcox pointed out to the Washington Examiner that Carper's continuing prodding on the issue is misleading. "Of the remaining nine letters from Senator Carper, seven were received in the past month and we are working to respond as quickly as possible. EPA staff is committed to being responsive to Congress."
Nevertheless, Carper said at the hearing that he likely will not be supportive of President Trump's nominees in light of the delays in responses.
"Absent a heartfelt commitment by the EPA to provide complete and timely responses to our current information requests, I will find it very difficult to support moving forward with consideration of any EPA nominees," Carper said.