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Biden Labor nominee stalls in Senate as Manchin, Menendez vote with Republicans

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., joined Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey in a vote with Republicans on Tuesday to block President Joe Biden's nominee for assistant secretary of the Labor Department, José Javier Rodríguez, from advancing. File photo by Jemal Countess/UPI
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., joined Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey in a vote with Republicans on Tuesday to block President Joe Biden's nominee for assistant secretary of the Labor Department, José Javier Rodríguez, from advancing. File photo by Jemal Countess/UPI

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Two Democrats voted with Republicans in the Senate on Tuesday to block José Javier Rodríguez, President Joe Biden's nominee to serve as assistant secretary of the Labor Department, from advancing.

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Menendez of New Jersey joined Republicans in a 44 to 51 vote to stall the nomination on the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer switched his vote to "no," to reserve the option of bringing Rodríguez up for another vote in the future.

An aide to Manchin said the senator voted against Rodríguez over "concerns about his political activism and lack of experience."

Rodríguez is a workers' rights attorney and former Democratic lawmaker in the Florida state House of Representatives where he served from 2012 to 2016. He served in the Florida state Senate from 2016 to 2020 before losing reelection.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., joined Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia in a vote with Republicans on Tuesday to block President Joe Biden's nominee for assistant secretary of the Labor Department, José Javier Rodríguez, from advancing. File photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., joined Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia in a vote with Republicans on Tuesday to block President Joe Biden's nominee for assistant secretary of the Labor Department, José Javier Rodríguez, from advancing. File photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Biden nominated Rodríguez in July of 2021 to serve as the assistant secretary for employment and training at the Labor Department. Hearings on the nomination deadlocked the following October with the nomination expiring at the end of the year.

Biden resent Rodríguez' nomination at the start of the new Congress in January.