- The Senate on Monday cast a bipartisan vote of 68-29 to confirm Marty Walsh as Secretary of Labor.
- The Senate on Thursday voted 68-30 to limit debate on the nomination of Marty Walsh to be Labor Secretary. A confirmation vote has been scheduled for Monday evening.
The Senate is expected to consider the nomination of Marty Walsh to be Labor Secretary in the near future, starting with a procedural vote Thursday ahead of a likely confirmation vote on Monday. Here’s what you need to know about the nominee:
Who is Marty Walsh?
- Walsh, 53, is serving his second term as the mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, a role he has held since 2014. He is the son of Irish immigrants, survived childhood cancer, and has openly discussed his past struggles with alcoholism and 20 years of sobriety.
- Before his mayoral campaign, Walsh served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1997 to 2014.
- He also worked in leadership positions for labor unions and trade organizations in the Boston area until he launched his mayoral campaign. If confirmed, he would be the first union member to serve as labor secretary since the Carter administration.
- Walsh earned his undergraduate degree from the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College.
What’s the outlook for his nomination?
- During Walsh’s confirmation hearings, Democrats praised progressive initiatives such as a $15 an hour minimum wage and reducing fossil fuel energy infrastructure in favor of green energy programs, prompting pushback from Republicans.
- Walsh spoke favorably about the push for a federally-mandated $15 per hour minimum wage, and said that any energy jobs lost due to the cancellation of pipeline projects or leases for extracting oil and natural gas could be recovered through clean energy programs.
- Several Republican senators, including Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC), Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said they expect his nomination to go through.
- The HELP Committee cast a bipartisan vote of 18-4 to advance Walsh’s nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.
What does it mean for the Dept. of Labor?
- The mission of the Labor Dept. is to promote and develop the welfare of American wage earners, job seekers, and retirees; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and ensure work-related benefits and rights.
- The Labor Dept. has an annual budget of roughly $40 billion and has numerous sub-agencies, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), and Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS).
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Walsh: U.S. Dept. of the Interior - Mayor’s Office Photo by Don Harney via Flickr / Creative Commons | Labor Dept. Seal: DonkeyHotey via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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