Three centrist senators might obstruct President Joe Biden's nomination of Julie Su to become the next secretary of labor.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz.; and Jon Tester, D-Mont.; previously supported Su in 2021 when she was nominated and confirmed as deputy labor secretary under now-departing Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. But the three senators might now oppose her, as she is perceived as being too progressive.
The trio faces reelection in conservative states in 2024.
Su is facing backlash from the business community and tech industry for supporting measures they believe hurt worker independence and consumer choice, The Washington Examiner reported.
But United Mine Workers of America, which is present in West Virginia, endorsed Su on Friday, stating she made significant strides in caring for "worker safety and health."
Several other minority-owned small businesses have also endorsed Su.
The union has declared her nomination to be a top priority, along with immigrant rights advocates and Asian American organizations, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Su, if confirmed, would be the sole Asian American serving in Biden's Cabinet.
In 2021, when Manchin supported Su's nomination for deputy labor secretary, Su was appointed after the vote barely passed the Senate 50-47 after months of delays.
Su's confirmation vote is set for Thursday, and all 49 Republicans are expected to vote against Su's nomination, according to reports. Doing so tightens Senate Democrats' chances of passing her nomination. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., returned to the Senate, promising to be a rubber stamp for Biden nominees, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., remains out of office for health reasons.
If Manchin and another senator were to side with Republicans, Su will join the ranks of two other Biden nominees who either failed to be accepted or were forced to withdraw.
Sinema will not comment on Su's nomination, and Tester's spokesperson said the Montana senator is reviewing Su's record. Both senators supported Su's nomination for deputy labor secretary in 2021.
Su, 54, grew up in the Los Angeles area, the oldest daughter of Chinese-immigrant parents who struggled economically for most of her childhood before climbing into the middle class, according to the L.A. Times. Su graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School, then returned to Southern California to join the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (now known as Asian Americans Advancing Justice), a civil rights organization.
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