Joe Biden: Bernie Sanders and I agreed we need him in the Senate after Georgia elections


President-elect Joseph R. Biden said Friday that Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont agreed that he should stay in the U.S. Senate rather than join Mr. Biden’s administration as labor secretary.

Mr. Biden said he gave “serious consideration” to nominating Mr. Sanders for the post before ultimately opting for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

“But after Tuesday’s results in Georgia, giving Democratic control of the United States Senate … Bernie and I agreed — matter of fact, Bernie [said] we can’t put control of the Senate at risk on the outcome of a special election in Vermont,” Mr. Biden said. “And he agreed we couldn’t take that chance.”

Once Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are sworn into office, the Senate will be split 50-50. Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala D. Harris will serve as the tie-breaking vote, giving Democrats effective control.

Mr. Biden said he and Mr. Sanders, his top rival in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest, talked about how they would “travel the country together” and work with Mr. Walsh.

Mr. Sanders is now in line to chair the Senate budget committee.

Mr. Biden spoke from Wilmington, Delaware, to formally introduce Mr. Walsh and other personnel picks: Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo for commerce secretary, Isabel Guzman to lead the Small Business Administration, and Don Graves for deputy secretary of commerce.

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