The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Marty Walsh as labor secretary in a 18-4 vote.
Prior to the vote, in which the committee also approved the nomination of Miguel Cardona to serve as secretary of education, Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., said both nominees have proved "what was already clear from their past experiences: that they are well qualified for these roles and ready to work with Congress. Given the urgency of this pandemic and the clear qualifications of these nominees, I urge all of my colleagues to vote to advance the nominations of Dr. Cardona and Mayor Walsh today."
Mr. Walsh, who been Boston's mayor since 2014, has an extensive labor background, including leading the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council from 2011-2013.
During his Feb. 4 hearing before the committee, Mr. Walsh was asked about getting people back to work, protecting workers during the pandemic, boosting unemployment insurance and improving job training programs. Though retirement issues weren't a focus of the hearing, Mr. Walsh was asked about the multiemployer pension crisis and said he's committed to helping address the issue.
A majority of the committee's Republicans also supported Mr. Walsh's nomination, including Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the committee's ranking member.
"Mayor Walsh has the background, the skills and awareness of the need for balance in conversations between labor and management," Mr. Burr said prior to the vote. "He emphasized that he wanted to work with us collaboratively to help the American workers improve and expand opportunities."
Mr. Walsh's nomination will now head to the full Senate. A vote there has not yet been scheduled.