Two big developments of interest to employers:
The Senate Heath, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the nomination of Alex Acosta, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, in a 12-11 straight party-line vote. This means that Mr. Acosta’s nomination will be voted on by the full Senate. According to The Washington Post, no date has yet been set for the Senate vote.
And two Democratic Senators have said they will vote in favor of the President’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court seat that was made vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) are both facing reelection in 2018 in states that went heavily for President Trump in the 2016 election. According to The Hill, there are still 33 Democrats who oppose Judge Gorsuch, but there may be a few more “red state Democrats” who will waver. Democrats have threatened to filibuster the vote on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, and the Republicans have threatened to go for the so-called “nuclear option,” which would change Senate Rules to allow cloture to be invoked on a simple majority vote. (The Democrats did the same thing to stop Republican filibusters of President Obama’s Cabinet and federal court nominees.) Currently, 60 votes are required to invoke cloture.