Absences forced Democrats on Tuesday to punt a vote on a Biden White House nominee, underscoring the razor-thin status of Democrats' majority. 

The Senate had been expected to hold an initial vote on

's nomination to be director of the Office of Personnel Management. If she had overcome the hurdle, a final vote to confirm her was expected for Tuesday afternoon. 

But Schumer announced shortly before the first vote that it was being delayed.  

"We have two of our members who couldn't be here because of serious illnesses in their families. Therefore, we're going to delay the vote," Schumer said. 

Schumer didn't say which members were absent but Sens.

(D-Mich.) and

(D-N.J.) missed an earlier Senate vote on Tuesday.  

Democrats have a 50-50 majority in the Senate. That allows them to confirm nominations even if Republicans are unified in opposition, but only if they have all 50 of their members and Vice President Harris present to break a tie.  

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