Senate HELP Committee Approves 3 Nominees to Education Department, 4 Nominees to Labor Department

Posted on December 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2017 — The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today approved and sent to the Senate floor seven nominees for the Department of Education and Department of Labor.

For the Education Department, Brigadier General Mitchell Zais is nominated to serve as Deputy Secretary, James Blew is nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, and Johnny Collett is nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.  

For the Labor Department, Kate O’Scannlain is nominated to serve as Solicitor, Preston Rutledge is nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, Scott Mugno is nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health and Dr. William Beach is nominated to serve as Commissioner of Labor Statistics.

On General Zais, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: “General Zais has an excellent and deep background – having been a college president and a member of South Carolina’s Commission on Higher Education – to serve as the Deputy Secretary of Education. I look forward to working with him to continue working on implementing the law to fix No Child Left Behind as it was written and working with him to reauthorize the Higher Education Act to make it simpler and easier for students to go to college.”

On Mr. Blew, Alexander said: “I look forward to working with Mr. Blew in his capacity at the Department of Education, where he will be responsible for helping develop policies and manage the budget, and ensure that programs are working as intended.”

On Mr. Collett, Alexander said: “Mr. Collett’s long history in special education makes him uniquely qualified for his position as the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.”

On Ms. O’Scannlain, Alexander said: “At her confirmation hearing, Ms. O’Scannlain confirmed that one of her priorities would be ‘consistency in application of our laws.’ I welcome her confirmation and will work with her to make sure that guidance is guidance and laws are laws.”

On Mr. Rutledge, Alexander said: “In his role at the Department of Labor, Mr. Rutledge will be tasked with protecting the interests of Americans who participate in employee pensions and welfare benefit plans. I look forward to working with him in his efforts to protect American workers.”

On Mr. Mugno, Alexander said: “Workplace safety is important to me. My father was a safety director at a plant in Alcoa, Tennessee, and I could see his pride when the plant would go a long number of days without an accident. I trust that Mr. Mugno, as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, will work to keep our nation’s workers safe.”

On Dr. Beach, Alexander said: “Dr. Beach has a deep history and understanding of how data can show how our economy is performing. I look forward to voting to confirm him in the full senate to serve as Commissioner of Labor Statistics.”