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Biden didn’t pick Sanders as labor secretary to keep Senate under Democratic control

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, leaves the Senate Floor at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 1, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Liz Lynch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden says he gave “serious consideration” to nominating Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as labor secretary, but both he and the senator agreed the appointment would put Democratic control of the U.S. Senate at risk.

Biden said Friday while introducing Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as his Labor Department nominee that he and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party, spoke after Democrats won two Senate seats in Georgia in Tuesday’s runoff elections.

Biden says that he can’t think of a more “passionate and devoted ally to working people in this country” than Sanders and that Sanders approves of Walsh for the job.

Biden says he and Sanders spoke about working together and traveling the country together to work on their shared agenda for working people.

Biden is calling on the Senate to approve his Cabinet nominees quickly. His call comes two days after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol and unsuccessfully tried to stop Congress from affirming Biden’s victory.