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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 SandersSanders won't vote for bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right Politics of discontent: Who will move to the center and win back Americans' trust? MORE (I-Vt.) blasted Eugene ScaliaEugene ScaliaBiden should keep the new commonsense independent contractor rule Demolition at the Labor Department, too AFL-CIO calls on Trump to resign or be removed from office 'at once' 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 AcostaOn The Money: Trump slams relief bill, calls on Congress to increase stimulus money | Biden faces new critical deadlines after relief package | Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Federal litigator files complaint alleging Labor secretary abused his authority 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 WarrenAdams, Garcia lead in NYC mayor's race: poll Exclusive: Democrat exploring 'patriot tax' on multimillionaires' wealth McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory BookerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Biden's European trip Teen who filmed Floyd murder awarded honorary Pulitzer Senate confirms first Muslim American federal judge 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.