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Eugene Scalia testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on his nomination to be secretary of Labor on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2019. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Senate committee approves Scalia to head Labor Department

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican-led Senate committee has voted along party lines to approve President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department.

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved lawyer Eugene Scalia’s nomination, 12-11, clearing the way for the full Senate to vote.

WATCH: Labor nominee Scalia testifies at confirmation hearing

Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, says Scalia’s work as a law firm partner on labor, employment and regulatory matters qualifies him to lead Labor. Scalia also served for a year as the department’s top lawyer during the George W. Bush administration.

Democrats opposed the pick. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the committee’s senior Democrat, calls Scalia an “elite corporate lawyer” who’d be a “yes man” for what she calls the Trump administration’s anti-worker agenda.

Scalia is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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