The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina McCarthy to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
McCarthy, assistant administrator of the EPA, is the second Cabinet official to be confirmed since senators brokered a deal that ended GOP filibusters of several presidential nominees. The vote was 59-40.
Earlier in the day, the Senate confirmed Thomas Perez as labor secretary.
Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted a committee vote for McCarthy in May, saying the EPA had not answered a series of questions about the nominee. Once the agency pledged to answer the questions, Republicans in the committee dropped their objection to holding a vote.
Their requests included new policies and a review of using private e-mail accounts to conduct official business and greater transparency in the agency rule-making process.
"I am so pleased that the full Senate has confirmed Gina McCarthy to be EPA administrator, because she is the right person for the job," Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, chairman of the committee, said in a statement Thursday.
Obama nominated McCarthy in March and confirmation hearings were held in April.
"As assistant EPA administrator, Gina has focused on practical, cost-effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing," Obama said when announcing her nomination in March. "She's earned a reputation as a straight shooter. She welcomes different points of views. I'm confident that she's going to do an outstanding job leading the EPA."
McCarthy is replacing Lisa Jackson, who stepped down earlier this year.