On May 16, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee ("EPW") voted in support of nominee Gina McCarthy to be named the next administrator of the EPA. The Committee voted along party lines, with ten Democrats supporting McCarthy's nomination and eight Republicans opposing. EPA made concessions to answer some of Senate Republicans' concerns about transparency at the Agency, but additional transparency concessions may need to be addressed before a vote can be held on the Senate floor. Senate Republicans have requested that EPA provide unredacted emails from McCarthy's personal email accounts, incorporate FOIA policy measures to ensure that groups are treated equally regardless of political ideology, and provide greater public access to information regarding notices of intent to sue and related settlements.
While Senator David Vitter (R-LA), the Ranking Republican Senator of EPW has pledged his support for McCarthy's nomination on the floor, he has conditioned it on additional requests being granted.
Additionally, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) has placed a hold on McCarthy's nomination until the Obama administration sets a schedule for environmental review of a flood control project in southern Missouri. Under Senate rules, any single Senator can block confirmation of a presidential nominee.
We will provide further updates as additional information is available.