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Senate panel advances Biden's education and labor secretary picks

Senate panel advances Biden's education and labor secretary picks
© New York Times/Pool

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee advanced President BidenJoe BidenBiden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' MORE’s picks to lead the Education Department and Labor Department on Thursday with broad bipartisan votes. 

The committee voted 17-5 to advance Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaOvernight Defense: Law enforcement officials blame Pentagon 'reluctance' to deploy National Guard in first hearing on Capitol attack | Watchdog report finds Pentagon didn't fully evaluate border deployment requests | Biden's UN ambassador confirmed Schumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate Biden passes one-month mark with less than half a Cabinet MORE, the Connecticut commissioner of education, to serve as secretary of Education. 

Senators on the committee also voted 18-4 to advance Boston Mayor Marty WalshMarty WalshBiden's infrastructure plan needs input from cities and regions Senate panel advances Biden's education and labor secretary picks The president wants Amazon workers to join a union MORE (D) to serve as Secretary of Labor. Walsh is a former union leader who has been the mayor of Boston since 2014. 

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Republican Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Haley isolated after Trump fallout MORE (Ky.), Mike BraunMichael BraunBiden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Senate GOP ready to turn page on Trump GOP senators praise impeachment managers but say Trump will be acquitted MORE (Ind.), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallPat Roberts joins lobbying firm weeks after Senate retirement Biden health nominee faces first Senate test Senate committee plans grid reliability hearing after Texas outages MORE (Kan.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottLobbying world Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears Trump ready to make McConnell's life miserable MORE (S.C.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) were the five votes against advancing Cardona’s nomination. His nomination now goes to a full Senate vote, which has not been scheduled yet. 

Paul, Braun, Scott and Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Senate votes to hear witnesses in Trump trial Senate panel advances Biden's education and labor secretary picks MORE (R-Kan.) were the four votes against advancing Walsh’s nomination. His nomination now advances to a full Senate vote, which has also not been scheduled yet. 

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Overnight Health Care: COVID-19 vaccine makers pledge massive supply increase | Biden health nominee faces first Senate test | White House defends reopening of facility for migrant kids MORE (N.C.), the top Republican on the panel, encouraged his colleagues to support both nominees and said he would approve the nominations on the Senate floor for the full vote. 

“Dr. Cardona has a background, qualifications, temperament to serve as secretary of education,” he said. He added that Cardona stressed the need for students to get back to school, a hotly contested debate during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Mayor Walsh respects the importance of job creators and the need for better coordination on job training programs,” Burr said before the vote.

Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Biden health nominee faces first Senate test MORE (D-Wash.) called both nominees well-qualified before the vote.

“Last week the Committee had the opportunity to hear from both Dr. Cardona and Mayor Walsh,” she said. “And both proved what was already clear from their past experience — they are well-qualified for these roles and ready to work with Congress.”