Senate Education and Labor Committee Advances 11 Well-Qualified Nominees

Alexander looks forward to their nominations being confirmed by the full Senate

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2019 — Following the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s approval today of 11 well-qualified nominees, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called on the full Senate to quickly confirm their nominations.

Alexander said, “This Committee has already approved all but three of these nominees last Congress, but unfortunately, the Democrat minority has prevented these nominees from being considered on the Senate floor. This meant these well-qualified nominees never received their confirmation, and had to be sent back to the president to be re-nominated at the start of the new Congress. Five of these nominees have been waiting over a year for their confirmations. Janet Dhillon was first nominated 609 days ago; Cheryl Stanton was first nominated 541 days ago; William Beach was first nominated 492 days ago; Scott Mugno was first nominated 484 days ago; and Marco Rajkovich was first nominated 416 days ago. This is also the 322nd day since John Pallasch was first nominated, the 308th day since John Lowry was first nominated, and the 185th day since Robert King was first nominated.

“This is a problem not just for our Committee’s nominees—it is a problem for the entire Senate.  The Democrat minority is determined to make it nearly impossible for President Trump to form a government, to fill the 1,200 federal government positions that require confirmation by the United States Senate as part of our constitutional responsibility to advise and consent to nominations.  That is why earlier this week I invited my Democrat colleagues to join me and Senators Lankford and Blunt in supporting their resolution to reduce post-cloture debate time for nominations—or modifying it if they believe there is a way to improve it—and work in a bipartisan way exactly as we did in 2011, 2012, and 2013 to restore the prompt consideration of any president’s nominees.” 

The Committee approved the nominations of the following nominees:

  • William Beach, nominee to be Commissioner of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor
  • Scott Mugno, nominee to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health at the Department of Labor
  • Cheryl Stanton, nominee to be Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor
  • John P. Pallasch, nominee to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training at the Department of Labor
  • Robert L. King, nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the Department of Education
  • Janet Dhillon, nominee to be a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Mary Anne Carter, nominee to be Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
  • John Lowry III, nominee to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training at the Department of Labor
  • Marco J. RajkovichWilliam I. Althen and Arthur R. Traynor, nominees to be members of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission

With the exceptions of Mary Anne Carter, William I. Althen, and Arthur R. Traynor, each nominee listed has been previously reported out by the HELP Committee in the 115th Congress. In 2017, the Committee approved Dhillon, Beach, Mugno, and Stanton. At the end of the year, Beach, Mugno, and Stanton’s nominations were returned to the White House to be re-nominated. In 2018, the Committee once again approved their nominations, as well as the nominations of Pallasch, King, Lowry, and Rajkovich.

After Senate Democrats blocked consideration of their nominations on the Senate floor, all eight nominations were returned to the White House at the end of the 115th Congress to be re-nominated, which occurred on January 16, 2019.