During the hearing, NRC's processes came into question when the discussion shifted to the NRC's pending vote on the nuclear waste site. The NRC Commissioners were due to vote on matters related to the Yucca Mountain project after President Obama set out to shut down support for the program. According to the release, "Members pressed the Commissioners on the status of those votes. Despite Chairman Jaczko's stance that the voting process will still open, several of the Commissioners testified that they had already voiced their final votes on the matter."
Today (May 5) following the hearing, Ranking Member Henry Waxman sent a letter to Subcommittee Chairman Shimkus regarding what he called "inflammatory comments" made about Waxman's questions to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In his letter to Shimkus, Waxman said, "You have publicly accused NRC Chairman Jaczko of 'illegal' conduct and engaging in 'politics at its worst' for halting the license processing of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depository." Waxman told Shimkus that his authority as Chairman did "not extend to censoring the content of Committee members' questions. Each member has the right to review the record before the Committee and ask any relevant questions."
Shimkus objected to a question by Waxman that Waxman said was designed to "giving Chairman Jaczko the opportunity to respond to allegations that his actions were improper." Waxman indicated to Shimkus, ". . .I believe you risk undermining the investigation by appearing to pre-judge its outcome. You stated yesterday that the Yucca investigation 'only started last week.' But even though your investigation has just started, you've already announced your conclusions regarding Yucca on several occasions over the last four months." Waxman cited several instances where Shimkus had stated that he though the NRC and Obama Administration had acted illegally in stopping funding and closing Yucca Mountain.