What Happened To Hilda?

Despite her hearing having occurred on January 9, Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), President Barack Obama’s nominee for Labor Secretary, has yet to be confirmed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. What’s the holdup? Senate Republicans are evidently burying her in paperwork:

The nomination of Rep. Hilda L. Solis, D-Calif., for Labor secretary has been lingering in the Senate as Republicans raise extra questions for her, effectively forestalling a confirmation vote…Although the written questionnaires don’t constitute an official hold on Solis’ nomination, the paperwork has the same delaying effect.

According to the White House, Solis has “responded to more than 15 sets of written questions from the committee,” but the committee “has taken no action on her appointment and has none scheduled.”

One issue with Solis’ confirmation seems to be her support for the Employee Free Choice Act, which Solis co-sponsored and voted for in the House in 2007. Much like their opposition to the auto rescue in December, blocking Solis may be nothing more than a conservative attempt to send a message on Employee Free Choice. As the New York Times editorial board wrote:


The delay in confirming Ms. Solis isn’t because the Senate needs to know more. It’s a way for Republican senators to score tough-guy points with business constituents who are driven to distraction by the thought of unions.


According to Greg Sargent, “Some top operatives in the labor movement are frustrated with the Obama administration for not giving them the go-ahead to publicly target Republicans who appear to be stalling Solis’ confirmation.”