Thursday, May 16, 2013

Senate Committee Approves Gina McCarthy Nomination for EPA Administrator

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved Gina McCarthy's nomination to be the next EPA Administrator. After Republicans boycotted an attempted committee vote last week, eight Republicans showed up today. All eight voted against McCarthy, while all 10 Democrats voted for her. Even Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg left his sick-bed to make the vote.

McCarthy's nomination now moves to the full Senate where she is expected to be confirmed despite Republican gamesmanship. Republican Senator David Vitter has indicated he will vote for her confirmation. The one remaining political game-playing is by Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri who says he will maintain a hold on her nomination until EPA sets a schedule for release of an environmental impact statement for a site in Missouri. Of course, EPA can't release the EIS until they have an Administrator to sign it. The Administrator-nominee that Blunt is holding up.

McCarthy is the current EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. Under her watch the EPA has issued significant air pollution regulations, which is the main reason why Republicans are holding up her nomination.