Senate panel schedules McCarthy vote

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled a 9 May vote in an initial test of support for President Barack Obama’s nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

McCarthy testified last month before the panel, where Democrats have a 10-8 majority. If, as expected, it votes to advance her nomination, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, will then set a time for bringing it to a vote on the Senate floor.

Democrats and two independents that caucus with them have a 55-45 majority. A few opposition Republicans are expected to vote to approve her nomination.

McCarthy is now assistant administrator in EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.