Panel votes along party lines to send the nomination to the full Senate.
A Senate committee on Tuesday advanced Eugene Scalia’s nomination to be Labor secretary.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 12-11, along party lines, to send the nomination to the full Senate. Scalia is a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Committee Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said, “Business and workers need a secretary of Labor who will steer the department with a steady hand and I believe Mr. Scalia can do so.” Alexander touted Scalia’s success as the Labor Department solicitor under President George W. Bush and as a private sector attorney.
The committee chairman said he believed he allowed sufficient time to vet the nominee and praised Scalia for his cooperation during the process. But Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., wanted to delay a hearing last week to consider Scalia’s nomination because she said she believed the vetting process was rushed and incomplete. During the hearing today, she called the nominee a “yes-man for President Trump’s anti-worker agenda” who “dodged seemingly every opportunity to take a strong stand as a champion for the workers and families that the Department of Labor serves.”
President Trump announced his intent to nominate Scalia in July via Twitter, formally submitted his intent in late August and then officially sent the nomination to the Senate on Sept. 11. Patrick Pizzella has been serving as the Labor Department’s acting secretary since Alexander Acosta’s resignation in July following criticism of how Acosta handled the plea deal of late sex offender and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2008.