The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Thursday for the second time advanced Lisa M. Gomez's nomination as assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, this time in a 12-9 vote.
The committee in December first advanced her nomination in a 12-10 vote, but the nomination, along with dozens of others, was sent back to the White House just prior to Congress' holiday recess last month. The recess marked the end of the 117th Congress' first session; its second session began Jan. 3.
Procedurally, the White House had to renominate Ms. Gomez, which it did Jan. 4 along with a slew of other nominees, because a new session began.
President Joe Biden in July initially nominated Ms. Gomez, a partner at the law firm of Cohen, Weiss and Simon and the chairwoman of its management committee, to lead EBSA.
At her confirmation hearing before the HELP Committee in October, Ms. Gomez wasn't asked many pointed questions and faced no criticism. The nine Republicans on the committee who voted against her nomination Thursday did not speak out in opposition.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., committee member, was not present for the vote Thursday.
Ms. Gomez's nomination once again will head to the full Senate. Leading up to its holiday recess, the Senate faced a backlog of nominations mostly due to a slew of ambassador holdups, which left fewer legislative days to consider pending nominees.
Ali Khawar has been leading EBSA as acting assistant secretary. If Ms. Gomez is confirmed, Mr. Khawar would retain his position as principal deputy assistant secretary.