The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today voted to send Hilda Solis’s nomination for Labor Secretary to the full Senate for approval. Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) cast the two “no” votes. It took 61 days since her nomination for Solis to get a committee vote, compared to Bush’s Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who was confirmed in just 18 days. The widely praised Solis was blocked by Senate Republicans for her progressive views supporting American workers.
Below is the statement from SEIU President Andy Stern:
“Our economy is in crisis and it will take the teamwork of every branch of our government to pull us through. The Secretary of Labor will play a key role, working with Congress and President Obama, to help families and businesses through the current recession and lay the groundwork for a stronger future that puts the American Dream back within the reach of America’s workers.
“Congresswoman Hilda Solis is exactly the right type of person to do this work. Solis is an experienced leader who has been an advocate for the middle class and working families throughout her entire career. She has consistently supported efforts to increase the minimum wage and to increase unemployment benefits. Solis authored the ‘Green Collar Jobs Act of 2007’ which gives her a unique perspective on how to make the new jobs created in the Economic Recovery Plan the most effective.
“We thank the Senators on the Committee who voted for Congresswoman Solis; they recognize her unparalleled qualifications for the job. We urge a vote by the full Senate on her confirmation as soon as possible so Congresswoman Solis can get to work helping Americans through these economic problems. America’s families cannot wait any longer for a position as important as Secretary of Labor to be filled by a woman as qualified as Hilda Solis. She has lived the American Dream and will never back down from helping the men and women who go to work every day to earn a paycheck and keep America running.”