EPA nominee's supporters stress history of work for GOP

Democratic supporters of Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Obama EPA chief: Trump regulation rollbacks won't hold up legally MORE, President Obama’s choice to run the Environmental Protection Agency, are highlighting her past work for GOP governors early and often during McCarthy’s Thursday appearance before a Senate panel.

Supporters hope this history will undercut opposition from Capitol Hill Republicans.

“She has shown a strong bipartisan spirit,” said Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerKamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response Billionaire Steyer to push for Dem House push MORE (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that’s vetting McCarthy’s nomination. “She has worked for both Republicans and Democrats.”

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump's SEC may negate investors' ability to fight securities fraud Schatz's ignorance of our Anglo-American legal heritage illustrates problem with government Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee MORE (D-Mass.), who introduced the Boston native, said McCarthy has a “pragmatic” approach, noting work for governors of both parties in Massachusetts.

“She served in numerous environmental posts in the administrations of no fewer than five governors,” Warren said. “Those of you who are familiar with Massachusetts politics will recognize this as an achievement in and of itself.”

McCarthy is currently the agency’s top air pollution regulator, a role that has drawn scathing attacks from Republican lawmakers who say the agency’s air pollution rules are too aggressive and hurting the coal industry.

McCarthy was previously the top environmental aide to Connecticut’s former GOP Gov. Jodi Rell, and before that worked for several Republican governors of Massachusetts — including failed Republican White House candidate and former Gov. Mitt Romney.

But while McCarthy supporters are emphasizing her state-level work to undercut political opposition, Senate Republicans are stressing McCarthy’s more recent past.

“As head of the EPA's office on air quality since 2009, Ms. McCarthy has been a leader in the administration's war on fossil fuels,” writes Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoThe 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances Trump pick for EPA No. 2 | Pruitt questions ‘assumptions’ on climate | Dems want Pruitt recused from climate rule review Senate panel advances Trump pick for No. 2 official at EPA MORE (R-Wyo.) in The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterTrump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? Not the Senate's job to second-guess Alabama voters MORE (La.), the committee’s top Republican, opened the hearing with attacks against the EPA’s record under Obama, including what he called a disturbing lack of transparency.

“I am concerned ... that the central functions of the agency have been obfuscated by ideology,” Vitter said.

He riffed off of McCarthy’s recent comment that “information is power.”

“Apparently she believes that withholding information is power,” Vitter said.