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Senate panel advances Biden's Labor secretary nominee Julie Su

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced President Biden’s Labor secretary nominee, Julie Su, on Tuesday in a party-line vote. 

Su, the current acting secretary since March of last year, got closer to securing her permanent role as the Labor secretary after the committee cleared her with an 11-10 vote during a closed-door meeting, allowing her confirmation to get to the Senate floor, according to Reuters

Su filled in last March for then-Labor Secretary Marty Walsh after he stepped down in February of last year. Su’s initial nomination came exactly one year ago, but it was never voted on in the upper chamber. By June, it appeared Democratic leadership had made little progress in getting Su confirmed in her post. The nomination expired at the end of last year. 

She was renominated by Biden to serve as Labor secretary last month. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chair of the Senate HELP Committee, has shown support for Su’s nomination. 

“Her strong pro-worker track record as Acting Secretary shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is the right person for the job,” Sanders said in January. “Her tireless and consistent work for working families across the country should continue as Secretary of Labor and I urge my colleagues to support her nomination.” 

On Tuesday, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), the ranking member of the HELP Committee, continued his criticism of Su. 

“My answer on if I have changed my mind on Julie Su’s nomination: HECK NO,” Cassidy said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, echoing a viewpoint that seems to be shared by many Republicans.

On Monday, he criticized the closed-door meeting and was calling on Su to be brought in for a public hearing. 

“The Chair’s decision to not hold a public hearing on Ms. Su is unacceptable and shows a lack of transparency from the Majority,” Cassidy said Monday. “It undermines the Committee’s constitutional duty to advise and consent on presidential nominees.” 

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the committee, voiced his support for Su, praising her as a “qualified” candidate. 

“I’m laser focused on making our economy even stronger by ensuring that our workforce has the support it needs,” Kaine said in a Tuesday post on X. “I strongly support Julie Su’s nomination to lead the Department of Labor because she is exceptionally qualified and committed to investing in America’s workers.” 

The Hill has reached out to Sanders’s office for comment.

Source: The Hill

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