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1. NOMINATIONS:

McCarthy, a regulator who worked for moderate Republicans, faces a Senate without many -- and with an aversion to regs

In the showdown over Gina McCarthy to head U.S. EPA, a different kind of nominee has run into a different kind of Senate committee. The result illustrates deep-seated changes in the handling of environmental issues in Washington. Forcing a Senate fight over a Cabinet nominee is unusual. What makes the contentious battle over McCarthy even more noteworthy has been the Senate's relatively tame handling of President Obama's selections for other top positions dealing with the nation's resources.

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