Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) is quite upset with the management of the Environmental Protection Agency, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the water quality in Flint or some new regulatory change. Kildee claimed he was snubbed on an invitation for his staff and possibly himself to a hazardous chemicals conference last week. One of his staffers showed up at the second day of the conference and was not admitted. This was apparently quite the social faux pas, and Kildee was so upset that the published a letter in the Detroit Free Press and went on cable news shows to share his umbrage.
Except there are several problems with this story. First of all, the EPA had made it clear to everyone that the second day of the event, May 23rd, was only open to federal agency personnel and state representatives. The prior day was available for congressional staffers to come if they wished and Kildee’s own staffer had gotten an invitation. He simply didn’t show up, instead arriving on the second day in the final two hours of the conference. These sorts of arguments in Washington far too often boil down to some sort of he said she said thing, but this one has a twist. Hot Air has obtained the letter sent from Matt Klasen at the EPA to Kildee’s aide, Jordan Dickinson. In it, the EPA makes clear that only the first day of the conference is available, but they welcome him for that, make lunch arrangements. etc. No mention is made of the Congressman himself wishing to attend. (Click on picture for full-size image.)
We’ve also obtained a copy of the letter being sent from the EPA to the Congressman’s office. Here’s the pertinent section of it.
We also have the invitations and promotional material for the event. All of it is consistent and makes clear who the event was open to and when they could come. If there was a breakdown in communications here, it was on the part of the congressman’s staff. But I suppose it made for better television to claim that he was snubbed or that the EPA was trying to “hide something” from him. Thank goodness for government recordkeeping, eh?