It may ultimately be unsuccessful, but nonetheless it is a good thing that Arizona Representative Paul Gosar has filed articles of impeachment for Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA. A press release from his office notes that this:
begins the impeachment process for Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), after she committed perjury and made several false statements at multiple congressional hearings, and as a result, is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors:
“For far too long, Congress has allowed unelected bureaucrats and executive branch officials to slowly bend and break the laws of this country in order to further their own partisan political agendas. We have reached a breaking point where the American people have no faith in the fundamental checks and balances put in place by our founders to protect liberties and freedoms.
“On numerous occasions, Gina McCarthy not only broke the law by lying to Congress, but in doing so she also lied to the American people in order to force misguided and overreaching regulations, which have no scientific basis, down our throats. Her agencies new mandates will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and cause untold economic harm to communities throughout the country. She must be held accountable for violating the rule of law and the only way for that to happen is through the impeachment process.”
The text of the legislation can be found here.
Writing in the Washington Examiner, Daniel Chaitin explains:
The resolution is the latest saga in the battle between congressional Republicans and the EPA, which many Republicans accuse of executive overreach.
Agriculture groups, mining companies and other groups in rural regions have expressed concerns that the water rule might pile unwanted regulations on them.
During multiple hearings spanning from February to July, Gosar said McCarthy testified that regulations on previously non-jurisdictional waters were developed based on scientific data. However, memos between officials at the Army Corps of Engineers, which is helping implement the water rule, indicate that was not necessarily true.
Gosar also said McCarthy provided false statements under oath when she claimed that the EPA had met all of the rule’s legal and scientific deficiencies raised by the Army Corps of Engineers. Gosar said memos and testimony from Army Corps officials dispute those claims.
“Administrator McCarthy committed perjury and made several false statements at multiple congressional hearings,” Gosar said, “and as a result, is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors — an impeachable offense.”
Gosar has previously unsuccessfully tried to impeach then-AG Eric Holder and IRS chief John Koskinen. Unless Speaker Boehner throws his support behind this move against McCarthy, it is likely to fail, as did the first two attempts.Nonetheless, it is a good start, and with further revelations of EPA misconduct, it might even gain momentum. The Constitution provides for impeachment because the Founders understood the danger of executive misconduct. They never anticipated that Congress would delegate so many powers to the bureaucracy, including the making of de-facto laws (called “regulations”), enforcement of penalties (taking on judicial functions) and even the issuing of subpoenas with no judicial review in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The administrative bureaucracy has subsumed the functions of the other two branches of government and must be curbed. Exercise of Congressional power of subpoena is an effective tactic and ought to be employed far more often.