Gina McCarthy won the support of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The panel voted 10-8 to send McCarthy’s nomination to the full Senate, one week after Republicans boycotted a meeting to protest lack of response to questions sent to the agency. The committee voted hours after a separate Senate panel voted along party lines to back Tom Perez as Labor secretary.
McCarthy, if confirmed, would take over an agency that Republicans have criticized for pollution limits that they say will cost jobs and hurt the economy. McCarthy is the EPA’s assistant administrator for air pollution, and before joining the Obama administration worked for Republican governors, including Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.
Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter said he had asked five specific questions related to transparency in the EPA’s decision-making, and Republicans agreed to attend today’s meeting after getting new pledges from the EPA. He said he would support McCarthy only if all five questions are answered to his satisfaction.
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