The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee has not yet voted to send Congresswoman Hilda Solis’s nomination as Obama’s labor secretary to the floor. The nomination was announced on December 19th, and since then, a number of other cabinet positions have been voted on. So what’s the hold up with Secretary-designate Solis?
A “hold” is when a senator on the committee anonymously “blackballs” a nominee, which effectively stops the nomination process in its tracks. Technically, a hold can’t be placed until after a nominee is voted out of committee, and Solis hasn’t even gotten that far.
But some are speculating that a hold has been threatened by Republicans who don’t like Solis’s strong endorsement of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
But here’s the problem for the Republicans on the HELP committee: President Obama is also a strong supporter of EFCA. And he’s not going to nominate a secretary of labor who isn’t.
Teddy Partridge, in “Who Owns the Holdup on Hilda?” which appeared yesterday in firedoglake, has this to say:
The GOP needs to understand that Barack Obama voted for the Employee Free Choice Act (which the Chamber of Commerce calls “card check” instead of “Majority Sign-Up”) and his Labor Secretary-designate, Hilda Solis, co-sponsored EFCA in the House. The GOP needs to face facts: this new Administration favors EFCA. A delay in confirming the Labor Secretary doesn’t, and won’t, change that.
Here’s a video put out by SEIU that demonstrates the Administration’s support for EFCA:
And finally, Alternet has this post today: “A Historic Opportunity: Hilda Solis and the Financial Crisis” by Andrew Thomaides. Here’s an excerpt:
Like Frances Perkins, Hilda Solis is also a very passionate, serious, and courageous leader and also happens to be the most progressive appointee in the cabinet of the new administration. She has deep ties to organized labor, the immigrant community, and movements for environmental justice. With the right amount of grassroots support and pressure, Solis could make a serious contribution to the formulation of progressive legislation that would greatly impact and improve the daily lives of the majority of Americans long into the future. The financial crisis the Obama administration has inherited is the greatest of our time. It presents the same opportunities that were there in 1933 when Frances Perkins and FDR took over the White House and created the modern welfare state, bringing the US out of the Great Depression and into the 20th century socially and economically.
Let’s hope the HELP Committee and the full Senate move quickly to approve Solis’s nomination.