The Washington Post
By Michael A. Fletcher
February 24, 2009
The Senate this afternoon confirmed Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) as labor secretary, more than two months after she was nominated for the post by President Obama.The Senate voted 80 to 17 to confirm Solis, after Senate Republicans today assured Democrats that they would not filibuster the nomination. Solis had come under fire from Senate Republicans, who thought she was unresponsive to many of their questions during her confirmation hearing, a situation that was compounded by her work as treasurer for American Rights at Work, a pro-labor group.
There were also concerns among some Republicans about her support for a measure that would make it easier for workers to organize unions.
Consideration of Solis's nomination was further delayed when it was revealed that her husband had recently paid about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his California auto repair business.
While Solis's nomination generated skepticism among many Republicans and their backers in the business community, the new labor secretary enjoys solid support among members of organized labor. The daughter of immigrants from Mexico and Nicaragua, both of Solis's parents were union members. Also, as a member of Congress, Solis has shared union skepticism toward free trade agreements, and been a strong proponent of developing jobs in renewal energy and other "green collar" areas.
Full Story: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/02/24/solis_cleared_for_senate_confi.html