The vote on the EBSA candidate is delayed again

After filing a closure petition on April 25 to limit debate over the nomination of Lisa Gomez as deputy secretary of the Department of Labor, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was forced to withdraw the petition late April 26 after two Senate Democrats—Sens. Ron Wyden (OR) and Chris Murphy (CT) – and Vice President Kamala Harris have tested positive for COVID.

The tabling and approval of a motion of closure in the US Senate is one way to limit a filibuster’s debate, but with absences and the narrow gap between the parties, it was possible, if not likely, that the motion failed.

At this point, it’s unclear when Gomez will return for a vote, but it will likely happen within the next two weeks, assuming there are no other Senate Democrats who test positive for COVID.

Gomez’s appointment has been a long and winding road. His nomination was first announced by the Biden administration in July 2021, but the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) did not hold a hearing until October. . Following that hearing, his nomination was put on hold because Republican members wanted to further his perspective on environmental, social, and corporate governance investing.

The HELP committee ultimately approved Gomez’s appointment in December. But because she was not approved by the full Senate before the end of the year, she had to be renamed and, once again, considered by the committee, which approved her appointment in January. on a vote close to the party line of 12-9. , with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) the only Republican to vote for.

Gomez is a partner at the law firm of Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, representing employer and union pension plans. She joined the firm in 1994, became a partner in 2002 and currently chairs the firm’s management committee.

If the Senate confirms Gomez, she will replace Ali Khawar, who served as EBSA’s acting deputy secretary and would remain principal deputy undersecretary.

Photo: Daniel D’Ottavio/Cohen, Weiss & Simon LLP

Andrew B. Reiter