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Sen. Joe Manchin not backing Julie Su’s nomination to lead DOL


Washington — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has announced his opposition to Julie Su’s nomination for labor secretary.

“I believe the person leading the U.S. Department of Labor should have the experience to collaboratively lead both labor and industry to forge compromises acceptable to both parties,” Manchin says in a statement released July 13. “While her credentials and qualifications are impressive, I have genuine concerns that Julie Su’s more progressive background prevents her from doing this, and for that reason I cannot support her nomination to serve as secretary of labor.”

That means Su likely can’t afford to lose any more votes from other Democrats or independents. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Jon Tester (D-MT) are among those who haven’t yet signaled which way they’ll vote.

According to a July 13 report from Politico, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) has indicated he’ll support Su’s nomination.

On Feb. 28, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Su, the acting labor secretary, for the permanent job. The Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee advanced her nomination in an 11-10 party-line vote on April 26.

A July 13 report from NBC News highlights a federal law that allows the deputy labor secretary to work as acting secretary “unless a successor is appointed.” Many other temporary positions in a presidential administration have a time limit because of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.

According to the report, Tester wouldn’t support keeping Su in the role indefinitely without a confirmation decision.

“I didn’t support it in the last administration. I don’t support it in this one,” Tester said. “I just don’t think they can do the job they need to do in an acting position. That’s my own opinion, could be wrong. But I just think there’s much more certainty if you’ve been confirmed.”

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