“The problem, and the reason we cut your budget, is that your agency is prioritizing new rules and regulations that Congress never told you to pursue in the first place,” U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), who chairs the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, said. “This isn’t the way our constitutional republic is meant to operate. Congress writes the laws, not the executive branch.”
The subcommittees’ members questioned McCarthy on EPA regulations such as the Clean Power Plan and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, which the EPA updated last year. Members also questioned McCarthy on the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
“Make no mistake, the system failed at all levels that resulted in the lead contamination problems with Flint’s water supply, but it is clear EPA’s poor performance of its duties under the Safe Drinking Water Act was part of the problem,” U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said. "It is going to take creative solutions and there will surely be challenges, and I hope we can put our heads together and put a greater emphasis on problem solving and doing right by the American people rather than playing the blame game."