(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Despite Senator Murray's objections, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee voted 11-10 to approve the nomination of Eugene Scalia to be Solicitor of the Department of Labor. The full Senate still must approve the nomination, at a vote that has yet to be scheduled.
Senator Murray's statement follows:
Today, I am voting against the nomination of Eugene Scalia for the position of Solicitor of the Department of Labor.
There is no doubt that Mr. Scalia is an accomplished attorney. His testimony and record show him to be a successful advocate for his clients. The question before this Committee is: Do Mr. Scalia's experience and record make him an appropriate candidate for the responsibilities of the Solicitor of the Department of Labor?
One of the Labor Department's most important missions is protecting the health, safety and well-being of America's workers. Within the Labor Department, the Solicitor provides advice and guidance on virtually every legislative, policy, regulatory, and enforcement initiative. The Solicitor oversees a nationwide staff of 500 attorneys, who are responsible for enforcing the 180 laws within the Department's jurisdiction, as well as defending the Department in litigation against it. Like many of my colleagues, I see this position as one of the chief government advocates for the millions of workers in this country.
Unfortunately, Mr. Scalia's record, scholarship, and testimony do not illustrate that he will be an effective advocate for America's workers. In fact, his experience and record suggest a hostility to the laws he would be sworn to uphold. To date, his positions have been in direct opposition to workers' safety, the ADA, sexual harassment claims, and other worker protections. I don't doubt his sincerity. However, I don't see anything in his record that would allow me to believe that he will preform this job in the best interests of the millions of employees he would impact. America's workers should have confidence that the Labor Department will vigorously protect their rights and approach their concerns with fairness. Unfortunately, Mr. Scalia has opposed many of the worker protections he will be charged with upholding. That doesn't give workers the confidence that their rights will be vigorously protected.
Therefore, I oppose his nomination.