Sanders calls Eugene Scalia's Labor Dept. confirmation 'obscene'

Sanders calls Eugene Scalia's Labor Dept. confirmation 'obscene'
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Poll: Biden leads in Iowa ahead of caucuses The Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint MORE (I-Vt.) blasted Eugene ScaliaEugene ScaliaThe Hill's Morning Report - Report of Bolton tell-all manuscript roils Trump defense Trump administration makes it harder for franchise employees to sue over wages Webb: My tribe is American MORE on Thursday after he was confirmed by the Senate to lead the Department of Labor, calling his nomination "obscene."

Sanders noted in a tweet that Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, previously worked in legal and lobbying roles on behalf of major companies such as Facebook and investment bank Goldman Sachs before he was tapped to join the Trump administration.

"As a corporate lawyer and lobbyist, Eugene Scalia made millions working for Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Facebook and other huge corporations, helping them undermine health and safety regulations," Sanders tweeted. 

"So naturally he's Trump's pick to lead the Labor Department. Obscene," he added. 

The Senate voted earlier Thursday to confirm Scalia to replace former Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaFlorida sheriff ends work release program criticized over Jeffery Epstein The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena MORE, who left the department amid questions over his role in a 2008 plea deal for disgraced financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

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The vote was 53-44 and along party lines, with Sanders among three senators who did not vote Thursday, the others being fellow Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Poll: Biden leads in Iowa ahead of caucuses The Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Black caucus in Nevada: 'Notion that Biden has all of black vote is not true' The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two MORE (D-N.J.).

Sanders was on the campaign trail during the vote. A spokesperson noted his vote against Scalia would not have changed the outcome of the nominee's confirmation in the GOP-led Senate. The aide noted that Sanders previously voted by proxy against Scalia in committee.

During a confirmation hearing last week, Democrats raised questions about Scalia's positions on LGBT and disability rights. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved Scalia for Labor chief earlier this week, sending his nomination to the full Senate.

A Labor Department spokesperson said the department could not comment on Sanders's tweet Thursday.