WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, expressed his opposition to four Biden administration nominees following an off-the-floor HELP committee executive session.
The committee voted on the nominations of Karla Gilbride for General Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Jessica Looman for Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor, LaWanda Toney for Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach at the Department of Education, and Glenna Wright-Gallo for Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the Department of Education.
Dr. Cassidy released the following statement:
“In an effort to be transparent as the ranking member of the HELP Committee, I would like to publicly express my opposition to these nominees.
“Under the leadership of former EEOC Chair Dhillon, the EEOC implemented needed transparency reforms that are being undermined by the current acting general counsel. Given her highly partisan background, I am not convinced that Ms. Gilbride will take the needed action to assert the general counsel’s independence and prevent the chair’s weakening of necessary reforms.
“During Ms. Looman’s tenure as principal deputy administrator, the Wage and Hour Division has issued multiple proposed rules that would effectively destroy the independent contracting and franchising industries, revealing an antiquated approach to a twenty-first century workforce. Ms. Looman has consistently used her position to prioritize ideology above impartial enforcement, which does not warrant her confirmation.
“Ms. Wright-Gallo and Ms. Toney are both nominated to be Assistant Secretaries at the Department of Education. The department’s latest student loan forgiveness schemes not only show a complete disregard for the role of Congress, but prioritize a political agenda over basic fairness to the American people at tremendous taxpayer cost. Until this administration ends its unilateral actions on student loans, I urge my colleagues to oppose any nomination from this department.”
The nominees voted on were previously nominated and considered by the HELP Committee during the 117th Congress, but failed to receive floor votes. The nominees reported out of the committee include Gilbride (12-9), Wright-Gallo (13-8), and Toney (12-9). Looman was not reported favorably.