The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday approved Julie Su's nomination as deputy secretary of labor in a 13-9 vote.
Ms. Su is currently secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, where she oversees the state departments and boards that enforce labor laws, fund workforce training and apprenticeship programs, and provide state disability and unemployment insurance benefits.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019 appointed Ms. Su as his Cabinet adviser on labor issues and employment programs for workers and businesses throughout the state.
President Joe Biden nominated her to the Labor Department's No. 2 post in February. Marty Walsh was sworn in a labor secretary March 23.
At her March 16 confirmation hearing before the Senate HELP Committee, retirement issues weren't a primary focus, but Ms. Su called the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which included a provision creating a federal assistance program for struggling multiemployer pension funds, crucial.
She added: "Retirement savers also need to get the kind of advice that they need to make sure that they're investing their retirement (savings) in the best way possible."
Her nomination will now head for a yet-to-be scheduled vote in the full Senate.