EPA nominee's supporters stress history of work for GOP

Democratic supporters of Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Critics accuse Interior's top lawyer of misleading Congress | Boaty McBoatface makes key climate change discovery | Outrage over Trump's order to trim science advisory panels Trump's order to trim science advisory panels sparks outrage Overnight Energy: Trump order to trim science panels sparks outrage | Greens ask watchdog to investigate Interior's records policies | EPA to allow use of pesticide harmful to bees 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.

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

“She has shown a strong bipartisan spirit,” said Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list 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 WarrenTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall In shift, top CEOs say shareholder value not top goal 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 BarrassoIf Democrats want gun control, they must first concede defeat Conway: Republican concerns about gun reform 'all reconcilable' Five proposals Congress is eyeing after mass shootings MORE (R-Wyo.) in The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterGrocery group hires new top lobbyist Lobbying World Senate confirms Trump judge who faced scrutiny over abortion views 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.