By Alan Fram
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.