Gina McCarthy

Reuters/Jason RobertsGina McCarthy got a thumbs-up from the Senate. It just took four and a half months.

It’s been 136 days since President Obama nominated Gina McCarthy to head the U.S. EPA. It’s been even longer, a record-breaking 154 days, since the agency had a permanent administrator.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Now, finally, she and the agency are out of limbo: The Senate confirmed McCarthy by a vote of 59-40 on Thursday.

Senate Republicans had thrown a tantrum over her nomination and blocked it in various ways — not because she’s unqualified (she’s highly qualified, and she’s even worked for Republicans like Mitt Romney) but because they just really don’t like the EPA.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Ultimately, though, as part of a broader deal on confirmation of Obama’s nominees, Republicans let her go through.

Now the really hard part begins: Trying to implement Obama’s climate plan, most notably controversial regulations on carbon emissions from new and existing power plants, plus everything else on the EPA’s plate, all with a shrinking budget and in the face of GOP resistance.

Good luck, Gina!