By Brent Fewell
POTUS’ nominee for EPA, Gina McCarthy, is a rare breed in DC – no doubt she’s a hard charger, but she’s also thoughtful, engaging, smart, and, refreshingly, an honest broker. WaPo and National Journal articles here and here. It’s that latter quality, honesty, that makes her an endangered species here in DC, and a particularly dangerous one for those opposed to any EPA action on climate change. I predict she will be confirmed, but if not, it won’t be because she isn’t qualified; rather, it will be because members of Congress took great umbrage to POTUS putting a gun to their legislative cortex to force action. This clip here is a good video of McCarthy in action. My good friend, Roger Martella, former EPA General Counsel, sets the stage here for the brewing EPA battle. If McCarthy is confirmed, it’s not necessarily checkmate – but the King and his Rooks should be sweating profusely on this manuever. It is the inveritable Damocles Sword – because she is the only one capable of pushing through new EPA climate regs, Congress would be compelled to act. Her confirmation will be good fun to watch.
[Update: On July 18, 2013, McCarthy was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 59-40. Wishing Gina all the best. And a special thanks to Bob Perciasepe for serving as an able Acting Administrator during the pendency of Gina’s confirmation.]
[Update: After a somewhat contentious process where Republicans last week skipped a committee vote to temporarily block McCarthy’s nomination, yesterday, May 16, the Senate EPW Committee voted 10-8 along party lines to install McCarthy as the 13th EPA Administrator. Republicans had held up the nomination on concerns of the Agency’s lack of transparency involving a host of matters, including the use of secret email accounts and fake names used to evade laws aimed at improving transparency in government decision-making. Hopefully, McCarthy hasn’t taken note of her lucky position in history.]