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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jul 11, 2013 2:35 PM Flag

    Reid, McConnell spar on EPA nomination in ‘nuclear’ debate


    Reid, McConnell spar on EPA nomination in ‘nuclear’ debate

    By Ben Geman - 07/11/13 11:32 AM ET

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is alleging Republicans are obstructing Gina McCarthy, the White House pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, as Democrats weighs a controversial move to prohibit filibusters of presidential nominees.

    A vote on McCarthy's nomination could occur next week.

    Reid said Thursday that Republicans are stalling the nomination of McCarthy, who is the agency’s top air pollution regulator, because “Republicans fundamentally oppose the mission of the agency, the EPA.”

    “Although she has a proven record track record of public service and will help to bring environmentalists and business groups together to tackle the serious environmental challenges facing our nation, her nomination drags on and just lingers,” said Reid, who noted McCarthy’s past work for Republican governors.

    Reid’s remarks on the floor were part of his wider criticism of Republicans Thursday, alleging they have engaged in historic obstruction of presidential nominees.

    They come as Senate Democrats are readying to huddle Thursday to discuss whether to use the “nuclear option,” which means changing Senate rules by majority vote to bar filibusters on nominees.

    Reid also said he would file cloture, a procedural move that sets the clock ticking towards a vote, on several nominations this week, which could set up a vote on McCarthy as soon as next week.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted Reid for weighing the nuclear option that would end the 60-vote threshold currently in place for filibustered nominees.

    “That would violate every protection of minority rights that have defined the United States Senate for as long as anyone can remember,” McConnell said.

    On McCarthy, McConnell said she and Thomas Perez, the nominee for secretary of Labor, already has enough votes to clear the 60-vote margin but that Reid has failed to sch

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