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Three Democrats Join Republicans to Vote Against Biden Nominee

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Three Democrats joined with Republicans in voting against President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division.

The vote came on Wednesday and Republicans were joined by Democrat Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin, and Mark Kelly in voting against a procedural vote to advance David Weil’s nomination, CNN reported.

The president’s nominee needed a simple majority to have his nomination advanced, but the vote was against him 47-53.

The nominee had previously served in the position for the administration of former President Obama but conservatives had raised concerns due to policies he enacted that they said damaged small businesses.

“As she promised Arizonans, Kyrsten evaluates all nominees based on three criteria: whether or not they are professionally qualified, believe in the missions of their agencies, and can be trusted to faithfully execute and uphold the law,” said Sinema’s spokesperson. “Upon reviewing Mr. Weil’s nomination, she has concerns with his ability to faithfully execute and uphold the law.”

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“West Virginia small businesses are the heart of our economy and our communities. Mr. Weil’s track record and previous statements are problematic for many West Virginia employees and business owners. Ultimately, I could not support Mr. Weil because I do not believe that the health and well-being of our small businesses and the employees who rely on their success would be his utmost priority,” Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said.

Democrat Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, was saddened by the vote.

“I’m incredibly disappointed to see Dr. Weil, an exceptionally qualified nominee with a long track record fighting to ensure workers get the wages they have earned, did not get the votes tonight to be confirmed as Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. Despite this outcome, I will never stop fighting for working families and for a fully staffed DOL with leaders committed to protecting workers,” she said.

Arizona Sen. Sinema and other Democrats have also expressed concerns about another of President Biden’s nominees Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be US ambassador to India.

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“As she does with all nominees, Kyrsten is doing her due diligence and thoughtfully evaluating the nomination based on her three criteria: whether or not he is professionally qualified, believes in the mission of the agency, and can be trusted to faithfully execute and uphold the law,” her spokesman said to CNN.

She was joined by Democrat New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand who said she had not made a decision on his nomination.

“I know Eric, and I’ll wait to see if the vote is called up and make my determination then,” she said.

“Concerns center around a former employee of Garcetti’s in the mayor’s office who has previously accused him of ignoring alleged sexual harassment and bullying by one of his former senior aides, who left the mayor’s office in October 2020 after a lawsuit was filed against him and the city. At the time, Garcetti issued a statement saying the aide had ‘stepped away from his non-profit and volunteer political work,’” CNN said.

Garcetti defend himself against the allegations when Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire questioned him about it during his confirmation hearing.

“In regard to this specific case, I want to say unequivocally, that I never witnessed nor was it brought to my attention, the behavior that’s been alleged. And, I also want to assure you if it had been, I would have immediately taken action to stop that,” he said.

“Harassment and discrimination have no place in the workplace, no place in our society, and I have zero tolerance for that,” he said.

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