National News

Jul 18, 2013 4:11 PM by Associated Press

Senate Approves EPA Administrator Nomination

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has approved Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency, hours after it also approved a new secretary of labor.

McCarthy was approved 59-40. Minutes earlier, senators voted 69-31 to overcome Republican objections against her nomination, nine votes more than are needed to end filibusters.

McCarthy has headed the agency's air pollution office since 2009. Democrats consider her to be a longtime environmental champion. Republicans say she has helped write regulations that hurt the economy.

Earlier Thursday, the chamber confirmed Thomas Perez to lead the Labor Department on a 54-46 party-line vote.

The Senate has filled four top Obama administration posts this week. The progress followed a bipartisan deal on Tuesday that freed the nominations for votes and saw Democrats halt efforts to weaken the minority GOP's powers.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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