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Harkin Statement on HELP Committee Approval of Department of Labor, Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and Railroad Retirement Board Nominations

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement after the HELP Committee approved eight nominees. The approved nominees include: Michael Keith Yudin to serve as Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the Department of Education, James Cole, Jr. to serve as General Counsel at the Department of  Education, James H. Shelton III to serve as Deputy Secretary of Education at the Department of Education, Theodore Reed Mitchell to serve as Under Secretary of Education at the Department of Education, Ericka M. Miller to serve as Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the Department of Education, Dr. David Weil to serve as head of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor, Dr. France Cordova to serve as Director of the National Science Foundation, and Steven J. Anthony to serve on the Railroad Retirement Board.

Michael Yudin, James Cole, James Shelton, Ted Mitchell, and Ericka Miller are all highly-skilled, well-qualified nominees to the Department of Education, and I am pleased that the HELP Committee approved their nominations today. Each will be a great asset to the Department and help further its work to expand and improve our country’s educational opportunities, and help ensure that every student has access to a quality education.

“In his testimony to the Committee last month, David Weil demonstrated that he is a superb choice to head the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor. Indeed, Dr. Weil is a leading expert on the enforcement of our country’s workplace laws, including minimum wage and overtime regulations. During his academic career, he has provided extensive counsel to the Department of Labor under both Republican and Democratic administrations and will bring unique talents to the Division, from his background as a business school professor as well as his extensive work in mediation.  Dr. Weil will be an exceptional leader of the Wage and Hour Division. 

“Given her experience as the former president of Purdue University and current chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution,  France Cordova is a well-qualified candidate to serve as Director of the National Science Foundation and would do a superb job promoting the progress and prosperity of science. 

“Thanks to more than 36 years of experience working with the railroad industry, Steven J. Anthony is an excellent candidate to join the Railroad Retirement Board. In his current role as Senior General Counsel for the Norfolk Southern Railway, Mr. Anthony has proven himself as a problem-solver who would be an asset to the Board.  

“The nominees approved by the HELP Committee today will be a major asset to their respective agencies. I appreciate their willingness to serve and urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in supporting these excellent candidates when their nominations come before the full Senate.”