The silly confirmation process, Part CXXVII

THE SILLY CONFIRMATION PROCESS, PART CXXVII…. This sure does get tiresome.

Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) has placed a “hold” on Robert Perciasepe’s nomination to be deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, demanding that the EPA re-analyze a controversial climate bill.

Voinovich announced the hold — a common practice for minority-party senators seeking leverage over a Cabinet department — in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

He said he had no objections to Perciasepe, the chief operating officer of the Audubon Society. But he wants the EPA to alter its analysis of a bill, aiming to lower greenhouse-gas emissions, that passed the House in June.

Voinovich knows Perciasepe is qualified for the post to which he’s been nominated, and Perciasepe has enough support to be confirmed. It’s obvious that Voinovich’s hold on Perciasepe has nothing to do with Perciasepe.

The problem has to do with the Waxman-Markey “American Clean Energy and Security” (ACES) Act. The EPA estimates that the bill, if implemented, will cost the average U.S. household about $110 per year. (A CBO analysis came up with a slightly higher figure: $175 per household per year.) Voinovich, hoping to defeat the bill, found the estimate unsatisfying.

So, he’s told the EPA that he’ll let the Senate vote on Perciasepe’s nomination just as soon as the EPA reevaluates ACES’s cost and tells him what he wants to hear comes up with a per-household annual cost that he considers “reliable and realistic.”

The Senate confirmation process is very, very annoying. As is Sen. Voinovich.