EPA nominee's supporters stress history of work for GOP

Democratic supporters of Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Biden administration breaks down climate finance roadmap Obama to attend Glasgow climate summit White House puts together climate finance strategy 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 BoxerFirst senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List Bass gets mayoral endorsement from former California senator 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 WarrenDemocrats scramble to reach deal on taxes Ethics office warned officials about unnecessary trades Fed imposes tougher rules on financial trades amid scandal 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 BarrassoSenate appears poised to advance first Native American to lead National Park Service Sunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (R-Wyo.) in The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBiden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Bottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic 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.