GOP senator blocking Obama's EPA nominee

President Obama announces Gina McCarthy (C), as his nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House March 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is placing a hold on President Obama's pick to run the Environmental Protecton Agency, the Missouri Republican announced this evening, posing the potential for a delayed vote in the full Senate.

Blunt said his hold on a confirmation vote for Gina McCarthy - currently the assistant administrator at the EPA office of air and radiation - will remain in place until the White House makes known its timeline for releasing a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway Project in Southeast Missouri.

With Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Blunt last month organized an in-person meeting between the EPA, U.S. Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve disagreements that have delayed a decision on the project, which proposes installing puping stations and closing a 1,500-foot gap in the Mississippi River levee system. He said the agency representatives failed to provide a progress report by their own March 15 deadline.

"Once again, the government is arguing with the government while nothing is accomplished," said Blunt. "These agencies missed their own self-imposed deadline, which is entirely unacceptable."

Before making it to the floor for a vote, McCarthy still has to clear the Environment and Public Works committee, which has not yet scheduled a date for her confirmation hearing.

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