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.

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.

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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!

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