Gina McCarthy Confirmed as Head of EPA


MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, making her the fourth executive nominee confirmed this week after Senators struck a deal to avert the use of the “nuclear option,” which would have ended the rules allowing the use of the filibuster to block executive nominees.

McCarthy, who is currently head of the clean air division at the EPA, was nominated by President Obama in March, but her nomination was held up by Republican objections.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., was the lone Democratic senator to vote against McCarthy’s confirmation, arguing that he would cast a no vote based on the agency itself and its handling of the coal industry.

“My fight is not with her. My fight is truly with the agency itself, the EPA,” Manchin said on the Senate floor Thursday. “It doesn’t matter that much really who’s sitting as the administrator of the EPA. In fact, if the president plans to use the EPA to regulate the coal industry out of existence it really doesn’t matter. It could be Ms. McCarthy or someone else because it is the president who will be calling all the shots, and the administration. That’s my fight.”

McCarthy was the fourth executive nominee confirmed by the Senate this week.  The Senate previously confirmed Tom Perez as Secretary of Labor, Fred Hochberg as president of the Export-Import Bank, and Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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