(The Hill) – The Senate on Wednesday voted against President Joe Biden’s nominee for an assistant secretary post for the Labor Department, with Vice President Kamala Harris in Los Angeles and unable to cast a tiebreaking vote.
The upper chamber voted 51-49 to deny Lisa Gomez’s nomination to become assistant secretary for the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, with the vote splitting along party lines in the evenly divided Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) changed his vote to “no” amid Harris’s absence and filed a motion to allow him to bring up the nomination for another vote in the future.
According to Bloomberg, Republicans voted against Gomez for the post after GOP members expressed concerns about the agency’s retirement investing proposals, making Harris’s tiebreaking vote vital for confirmation.
Harris is visiting Los Angeles this week to attend the Summit of the Americas. It’s the first time the U.S. has hosted the gathering of leaders from North, Central and South America since the inaugural summit in 1994.
The event is seen as a major priority for Biden, who is also attending the gathering, where he is expected to meet with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Harris is also expected to play a significant role in the gathering, where she is set to deliver remarks and potentially address immigration.