Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, voted against advancing the nominations of David Weil to serve as the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor and Catherine Lhamon to serve as the Assistant for Civil Rights at the Department of Education. The Committee voted 11-11 on both nominees.
Following the Committee’s vote, Senator Burr released the following statement:
“It’s unfortunate the Biden Administration has chosen undeniably partisan nominees to fill these important positions at the Departments of Labor and Education.
“As we continue to recover from the pandemic, it’s critical that we have leaders at the Department of Labor that will help grow our economy and create more jobs. David Weil, however, has a track record of opposing growth opportunities for workers and small business owners. His nomination is a threat not only to the gig economy, but also to the successful franchise model, a solid percentage of which are minority- or women-owned. I’m concerned Dr. Weil continues to place his academic credentials above the real world experience of these diverse small business owners.
“Catherine Lhamon’s track record is also deeply troubling if not outright disqualifying. Ms. Lhamon has a history of using inflammatory rhetoric, violating students’ constitutionally-based right to due process, and abusing regulatory power.
“I remain concerned about both these nominees’ partisan records and extreme agendas. For these reasons, I have voted against advancing Dr. Weil and Ms. Lhamon from the Committee.”
In addition, the Senate HELP Committee advanced the nomination of Javier Ramirez to be the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and advanced the following bipartisan bills in today’s executive session:
· The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, introduced by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), which would prioritize women’s health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform job functions are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.
· The Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act, introduced by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), which would address youth suicide through the implementation of evidence-based training policies to promote youth mental health and suicide prevention awareness among students.
· The Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act, introduced by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), which would reauthorize the Lifeline, require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and implement a plan to increase quality assurance at Suicide Prevention Lifeline and crisis centers, directs HHS to issue a report to Congress on the progress of the plan, and requires increased coordination between the Lifeline and state and local agencies.
· The 21st Century Assistive Technology Act, introduced by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), which would reauthorize the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 to increase awareness of and access to assistive technology devices and services for individuals of all ages with disabilities.
In his opening remarks before both nomination hearings, Ranking Member Burr questioned the partisan record and extreme agenda of both nominees.