More than 14 months after her nomination, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Lisa M. Gomez as assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration in a 49-36 vote.
When the Senate in June considered Ms. Gomez's nomination the first time, the vote failed 49-51, with all Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., voting no. Mr. Schumer voted no for procedural reasons and immediately filed a motion to reconsider the nomination. At that time, Vice President Kamala Harris was attending an international summit in Los Angeles and couldn't break the tie.
Ms. Gomez, whom President Joe Biden nominated in July 2021, appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in October 2021 and was advanced out of committee in December and again in January. Her nomination was sent back to the White House on procedural grounds just prior to Congress' holiday recess in December as the 117th Congress' first session came to a close; its second session began Jan. 3.
At her confirmation hearing before the HELP Committee in October, Ms. Gomez wasn't asked many pointed questions and faced no criticism. Since that time, under the leadership of Ali Khawar, the agency's acting head, EBSA has issued an environmental, social and governance and proxy voting proposal that has drawn criticism from Republicans.
Ms. Gomez has worked at Cohen, Weiss and Simon since 1994 and has an extensive employee benefits background. Over her career she has represented various plans and plan sponsors in the multiemployer plan community, as well as other Taft-Hartley and single-employer plans in the private sector and a federal employee health benefit plan, according to a statement on Cohen, Weiss and Simon's website.
She has also advised plans on plan design and administration, benefit claims and fiduciary issues, delinquency collection, participant communications, service provider agreements and qualified domestic relations orders and represented them in various types of litigation, according to her Cohen, Weiss and Simon biography.
Upon Ms. Gomez's swearing in, Mr. Khawar will retain his other position as principal deputy assistant secretary.