Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Dept. of Labor, has cleared one more hurdle toward Senate confirmation.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Feb. 11 approved Walsh’s nomination as Secretary of Labor on a bipartisan 18-4 vote. The next step is action by the full Senate.
[View video of committee meeting here.]
As with other Biden cabinet nominees in their commitee hearings , the HELP panel no” votes were all Republicans: Senators Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Tim Scott (S.C.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.). But the other seven GOP members ovoted for Walsh, perhaps signaling a strong vote on the floor to confirm his nomination.
In the quick, roughly seven-minute, meeting, the committee also approved Miguel Cardona, Biden’s choice to be Secretary of Education, on a 17-5 vote. Cardona is Connecticut’s commissioner of education.
Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said Walsh and Cardona “are well qualified for these roles and ready to work with Congress.”
The panel’s top Republican, Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.), said he would support Walsh and Cardona when their nominations reach the Senate floor.
Burr said that Walsh “respects the importance of job creators and the need for better coordination on numerous job training programs. He committed to make sure commerce and labor work cooperatively."
Michael Bellaman, Associated Builders & Contractors chief executive officer, said in a statement that Walsh, former head of a Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) local, "knows the construction industry and its workforce, so I believe we share common ground in developing well-qualified craft professionals and creating work environments that prioritize safety and total human health."
Bellaman noted that in his confirmation hearing, Walsh said he would be "collaborative and a listener," and added, "ABC looks forward to working with him on policies that benefit the industry as a whole, rather than favoring one constituency over another or excluding the majority of our workers and contractors from rebuilding America."
Terry O'Sullivan, LIUNA general president, said in a statement, "Marty will restore the Dept. of Labor's role as a strong and steadfast guardian of workers' rights and effective enforcer of our nation's labor laws."
O'Sullivan added that Walsh "has a record of working cooperatively with employers to create middle-class jobs. And we can also count on him to block any efforts to undermine union training and apprenticeship programs."