Hilda Solis’ Nomination to be Labor Secretary Advances

By February 12, 2009Economy, Labor Unions

The Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee approved the nomination of Hilda Solis to be Secretary of Labor yesterday, and the Senate will likely vote on her confirmation by the weekend. Congratulations, prospectively.

For effective government and clear accountability, Presidents deserve their nominees barring some great offense. Solis’ confirmation troubles did not seem to rise to those levels, but neither were Senators’ inquiries and delays unwarranted.

Our favorite defense of Solis  came from John Nichols of the left-wing The Nation, “Save the Solis Nomination.”

Hilda Solis is not a “toxic asset” in the Obama administration’s personnel portfolio. 

In fact, the small-business tax troubles of the California congresswoman’s husband–which Republican partisans, nervous-nelly Democrats and media elites who cannot see the forest for the trees imagine as a cabinet disqualifier–confirm that Solis has precisely the real-world experience that is going to be required in a White House that seeks to tip balance away from Wall Street and toward Main Street.

Agreed! That must be a new line of defense from The Nation, but….That’s right! The tribulations of small business, including running afoul of government taxers and regulators, should definitely inform more Cabinet officials. (Although, another defense was that tax liens were solely her husband’s difficulties and Solis was unaware of them, so how much “real-world experience” was gained?)

As a Representative from southern California, Rep. Solis was a reliable, consistent, strong, very strong supporter of organized labor. Strong. Labor anticipates no deviation.

“With the job market in free fall, today’s vote is hugely important,” AFL-CIO president John Sweeney said in a statement tonight. “We have already lost valuable time getting the leading advocate for working people in our government in place. Rep. Solis is eminently qualified for this post, and she will be a vigorous champion for rebuilding a strong middle class and restoring balance to our economy.

Hyperbole, but OK. Let’s see what the first months bring. If the early moves include eviscerating union transparency requirements and undermining the Office of Labor Management Standards, well, we’ll know the Secretary’s priorities soon enough.


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