Biden says he weighed tapping Sanders for Labor secretary

President-elect Joe Biden said Friday that he considered nominating Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as Labor secretary but that the two agreed it was unwise to do so because it would jeopardize the slim Democratic Senate majority.

Biden made the remarks Friday afternoon as he introduced Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D), who has strong backing from unions, as his nominee to lead the Labor Department during an event in Wilmington, Del.

“I did give serious consideration to nominating my friend Bernie Sanders to this position. I’m confident he could have done a fantastic job,” Biden said. “I can think of no more passionate, devoted ally to working people in this country.”

“But after Tuesday’s results in Georgia, keeping Democratic control of the United States Senate in a tie vote, Bernie and I agreed … we can’t put the control of the Senate at risk on the outcome of a special election in Vermont,” Biden continued.

The Hill has reached out to Sanders’s office for comment.

Democrats won both Senate runoffs in Georgia on Tuesday, meaning Republicans and Democrats each hold 50 seats in the Senate. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast the deciding vote for any split decisions, giving Democrats the majority.

Sanders was a Democratic candidate for president and dropped out in April after a handful of primary losses to Biden, clearing the way for a general election between Biden and President Trump. Sanders went on to endorse Biden, a move viewed as key to helping consolidate progressive support behind Biden and leading him to victory.

In his first interview after winning the election, Biden indicated he would be reluctant to tap members of Congress to fill administration posts. He has since selected three House lawmakers to serve in top administration positions, leaving Democrats with a razor-thin majority in the chamber.

Biden said Friday that he and Sanders would still work together on their shared agenda of “increasing worker power and protecting dignity of work for all working people.”

Biden announced other Cabinet nominees on Friday, including his picks to lead the Commerce Department and Small Business Administration.

Tags Bernie Sanders Cabinet Donald Trump Georgia Georgia runoffs Joe Biden Labor Department Marty Walsh Senate majority Vermont
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video