Top Biden Labor nominee falls on Senate floor

Top Biden Labor nominee falls on Senate floor

One of President Joe Biden’s top Labor Department nominees went down on the Senate floor on Tuesday after two Democrats voted with Republicans to block the nomination.

Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Menendez of New Jersey both voted against advancing the nomination of Jose Javier Rodriguez to be the assistant secretary of Labor. Nominees need just a simple majority in the Senate. But Democrats’ 51-vote majority means two defections can spell doom for any nominee.

Manchin voted against Rodriguez because “he has concerns about his political activism and lack of experience,” according to a spokesperson. Rodriguez is a former Democratic lawmaker in the Florida statehouse and is a workers’ rights attorney.

The final vote was 44-51. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer switched his vote to no, which will allow him to bring up Rodriguez for another vote in the future.

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