I'm pleased we are holding this nominations hearing today. However, I must say that I'm very concerned about the Senate's lack of progress on nominations. Several critical nominations have been sitting idle on the Senate Calendar for months due to political power plays by the Democratic leadership in a partisan effort to wrestle the Constitutional power to nominate individuals from the President. Prior to the Easter break, this Committee had seven nominees who had been delayed by the Democratic Leadership as a result on this political act. Two of these nominees waited eight months and another waited 11 months before they were confirmed on March 13th. Three nominees favorably reported by this Committee remain on the calendar. They deserve fair and swift consideration by the Senate. Please understand, Madame Chairman, that this criticism is aimed at the Democratic Leadership, not at you. You have been reasonable in handling nominees.
That said, I'm pleased to support David Hill's nomination EPA's General Counsel. Mr. Hill is currently serving as General Counsel at the Department of Energy. Prior to Senate confirmation in 2005, Mr. Hill served as Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy from 2002 to 2005. He is a well qualified candidate for this very important position.