Federal agencies Leadership

Scott Mugno’s nomination to lead OSHA gets Senate committee approval for a third time

Scott Mugno

Washington — For the third time, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has approved Scott Mugno’s nomination to lead OSHA, with the most recent nod taking place during a Feb. 27 hearing.

Now, the wait is back on to see whether the Senate will confirm the former FedEx executive and end the agency’s longest stretch without a permanent administrator. Loren Sweatt’s tenure as acting assistant secretary of labor is also the longest in OSHA’s 48 years.

The Trump administration first nominated Mugno, formerly vice president of safety, sustainability and vehicle maintenance at FedEx Ground, to be assistant secretary of labor on Nov. 1, 2017. He then was re-nominated on Jan. 8, 2018, and retired from FedEx the next month.

Mugno again was nominated Jan. 16 and is among a number of Department of Labor nominees awaiting confirmation. The logjam in the Senate reportedly stemmed, at least in part, from Democrats’ desire to fill vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The administration in August re-nominated Mark Gaston Pearce to serve on the board, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups opposed his nomination. Pearce withdrew his name from consideration Feb. 6. The administration also nominated Chai Feldblum to another EEOC term, but Feldblum removed her name from consideration after a reported objection from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).


Also on Feb. 27, the HELP Committee approved Janet Dhillon’s nomination to EEOC, along with three nominees for the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission: William Althen, Marco Rajkovich and Arthur Traynor.

The Senate’s current makeup would appear more favorable to Mugno’s chances, with Republicans gaining two more seats in the midterm elections, giving them a 53-47 majority.

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