Scalia cleared for full Senate vote

Labor secretary nominee Eugene Scalia last week before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Health Committee. (Photo courtesy of Senate HELP Committee)

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Tuesday voted along party lines to advance Eugene Scalia, President Trump’s nominee for labor secretary.

The panel approved his nomination 12-11, with no Republican senators voting against the nominee. Last week, the committee questioned Scalia, the son of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, during a three-hour confirmation hearing about many issues, including his views on apprenticeships, especially so-called industry-recognized apprenticeship programs, or IRAPs.

The full Senate will vote next on the nomination, possibly by the end of the week. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.

“Mr. Scalia is well-qualified to lead the department,” HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) said on Tuesday before the vote.

Scalia, 55, is a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, focusing on labor, employment and regulatory issues. He served as a solicitor for the U.S. Labor Department from 2002 to 2003, and also briefly served at the U.S. Education Department.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), the committee’s ranking member, said she felt the confirmation process has been rushed, adding that she didn’t think Scalia would serve in the best interest of workers.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.