Progressives Love Biden’s Pick for Labor Secretary. That’s Why the Senate Might Reject Her

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When President Joe Biden introduced his pick to become the next Labor Secretary two weeks ago, the mood in the East Room erupted with such a raucous welcome, the President seemed briefly taken aback. “Whoa! I think they like you,” he said with a chuckle on March 1 in the East Room of the White House. “I’m going to close my eyes and pretend you were clapping for me.”
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Now, two weeks later and ahead of Deputy Labor Secretary Julie Su’s confirmation hearings to permanently take the top job at Labor—one she is now doing on a stopgap basis—her reception in Washington has cooled slightly. Her confirmation hearings come on the heels of the Senate’s tight confirmation on Wednesday of Eric Garcetti to be ambassador to India, almost two years after Biden first nominated him for the post. Garcetti had faced pushback from some Democrats over how he handled alleged sexual harassment and bullying by one of his former senior aides while he was mayor of Los Angeles.

Su’s headwinds are based firmly in policy, not scandal. While labor unions, immigrant rights groups, and Asian and Pacific Islander communities remain huge fans, the business community she would in part regulate is not. Something of a rock star in the organized labor movement, she has been unflinching in her advocacy for immigrant workers.

But the math is undeniably tough for her in a closely divided Senate. True, the Democrats have 48 votes and three independents who typically join them, but two moderate Democrats from red states are likely on the ballot next year and may be more skittish: Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon …read more

Source:: Time – Politics


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