Senate Panel Votes To Confirm Biden’s Embattled Labor Secretary Nominee

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) voted Wednesday in favor of the nomination of President Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary of Labor, Julie Su.

Su previously served as the deputy to resigned Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh as well as Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and many have voiced concerns over her record in those roles. The Senate HELP Committee voted to confirm the nominee with a slim 11 to 10 vote.

“I strongly support her nomination,” Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chairman of the HELP committee, said before the vote. “Working families have been struggling for the last many decades. While we have massive income and wealth inequality, the working families of this country in the labor department are entitled to have a Secretary that fights for them.”

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana opposed Su’s confirmation, citing her partisan record in California overseeing fraudulent unemployment payments, her support of a bill that many argued hindered the gig economy, as well as her record pushing similar legislation, he said in the meeting. (RELATED: ‘Didn’t Have A Clear Answer’: Key Biden Nominee’s Confirmation Remains In Doubt After Testy Hearing)

“Mrs. Su has a decades-long record of partisan activism, promoting policies that undermine workers to the benefit of politically connected labor unions,” said Cassidy. “A qualified Secretary of Labor needs to successfully handle negotiations, be a competent, manager of a department and refrain from partisan activism. I’ve not seen evidence of Mrs. Su’s ability to do any of these three.”

The HELP Committee’s favorable vote will send Su’s confirmation to the Senate floor.

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