Thomas Perez confirmed as Labor Secretary

Steve Contorino
The Washington Examiner

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Thomas Perez to be the next Secretary of Labor after narrowly crossing the 60-vote threshold the day before to end a lengthy filibuster of the nominee.

Perez, previously an assistant U.S. attorney general in the civil rights division, will replace outgoing secretary Hilda Solis.

“At the Department of Labor, Tom will help us continue to grow our economy, help businesses create jobs, make sure workers have the skills those jobs require, and ensure safe workplaces and economic opportunity for all,” President Obama said.

Obama tapped Perez to head the Labor department in March, but the nomination was held up for months by Republicans seeking changes to the department and the National Labor Relations Board. Perez, too, was painted as a controversial pick by conservatives hoping to block confirmation.

But Perez ultimately won approval as part of an 11th hour compromise by Republicans not to stand in the way of five Obama appointees if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, pulled back from the so-called “nuclear option.” Reid threatened to use his 54-member majority to break Senate rules and end the filibusters of seven Obama nominations without the 60 votes needed to end debate…


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