Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the ranking Republican on the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the EPA, said Friday she has reservations about seeing the agency run by an acting official for an extended period.
“Both from the administration’s perspective and from those of us who are trying to figure out what’s going on within the department, and budgets and initiatives, it helps to know who you’re dealing with,” she said.
Murkowski declined to comment on whether she would support Perciasepe or current EPA air chief Gina McCarthy — another rumored internal candidate — if either was nominated by Obama, but said both may benefit from having been confirmed previously by the Senate.
“It might be easier for those who have gone through that process once and who lawmakers have some familiarity with,” she said.
Murkowski said she would have reservations about another rumored candidate, California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary D. Nichols, who is currently overseeing implementation of that’s state’s sweeping climate change law.
Nichols “is one that would face some real questioning from me,” she said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.