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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) senior Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), delivered remarks on the Senate floor opposing the nomination of Paul J. Ray, President Trump’s nominee to serve as Administrator of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). During Mr. Ray’s vetting process, Senator Carper raised concerns about the potential precedent being set by Mr. Ray’s failure to adequately provide information to the Committee related to his tenure at OIRA. And, throughout the Committee’s vetting process, Mr. Ray has asserted some type of privilege or deferred to the OMB General Counsel more than any past OIRA nomineeIn fact, he asserted privilege or deferred to counsel 19 times in his pre-hearing questionnaire responses. Mr. Ray was confirmed by the Senate earlier today with a vote of 50-44.

 

OIRA is the office within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) charged with reviewing Executive Branch regulations, approving government information collections, establishing government statistical practices, and coordinating federal privacy policy, which includes review of additions to the census. Mr. Ray has presided over or been involved with dozens of controversial rulemaking decisions in the past year and a half in which he has worked at OIRA.

 

“Mr. President, it’s been my privilege to serve on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee since I arrived in the Senate 19 years ago,” said Senator Carper. “We are an oversight committee. We conduct oversight over the whole federal government, and not just the government, but on matters important to our nation outside of the government. One of our core duties is to ensure that nominees are forthcoming and provide the Senate with the information it needs to do its job. Eventually we are going to have an election, and who knows who is going to win next time, and who will be in the majority. But we should expect that nominees that appear before the Senate under any Administration are forthcoming and provide us with the information we need to adequately vet them. Mr. Ray, his general approach of non-responsiveness to the Committee’s vetting process sets a concerning precedent, both for future nominees and subsequent oversight efforts to hold the executive branch accountable. For these reasons Mr. President, I must reluctantly note my opposition to Mr. Ray’s nomination.”

 

View Carper’s full remarks here.

 

Today, Senator Carper, top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee and six senators on the EPW Committee urged Paul Ray to address concerns raised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board last week.

 

Senator Carper’s remarks follow an unanswered letter he signed onto with his colleagues to Acting OMB Director Vought urging cooperation with Congressional records requests regarding the nomination of Mr. Ray to be Administrator of OIRA. In a letter addressed to Acting OMB Director Russell Vought, the Senators raised serious concerns about Mr. Ray’s failure to adequately respond to multiple inquiries related to his tenure at OIRA and provide information that is critical to a full and fair evaluation of Mr. Ray’s record and qualifications for the position.

 

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