Thomas Perez Finally Backed for Labor Department by Senate Committee

Thomas E. Perez

voxxiBy Rocio Gonzalez, Voxxi

Third time’s the charm. President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Labor Department, Thomas Perez, was finally approved by the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, after this vote was postponed two other times.

Republican opposition was not enough to stop Perez’s nomination. This was the third time a vote had been scheduled, since the first time the vote was postponed at the request of Republicans, who said they needed more time to evaluate the candidate, or else. The second time, a Republican member of the Senate invoked an infrequently used procedural tactic that prevents committees from meeting on days when the Senate meets, a rule that is usually ignored.

This time around, the committee approved Perez while sticking to party lines in a 12 -10 vote. All Republicans voted against the Dominican’s appointment. That’s enough indication that this won’t go smoothly when it is time for the entire Senate to vote, especially with the controversy the Department of Justice is currently involved in. Perez is currently the assistant attorney general for the department’s Civil Rights Division, and would become the first Hispanic to join the Obama cabinet for the president’s second term, after Hilda Solis left her post at the Labor Department and Ken Salazar stepped down at the Interior Department.

“Republicans have accused Perez of making decisions guided by left-wing ideology rather than the pursuit of justice,” writes Sam Hananel for the Associated Press. “His supporters call Perez a consensus builder who is the target of politically motivated attacks.”

A small victory for Obama to fill the Labor Department post

For now, it’s a small victory for the majority. Sen. Bob Menendez released a statement saying he was pleased with today’s development, although not with the fact that there wasn’t a bi-partisan effort to pass Perez.

“Republicans continue to try and block Mr. Perez’s confirmation for no reason, without any real objection — only an ideological objection to allowing this President or this Congress to govern, or at least to select a Cabinet that will help us do so.

“At a time when Republicans should be reaching out to Hispanic Americans rather than reverting back to the same-old political strategies that failed them during the last election, it is unfortunate that the President’s first Hispanic choice for his second-term cabinet continues to be under attack. I urge my Republican colleagues to stop the obstructionism and do what’s right for the country: vote to confirm Tom Perez as the next Secretary of Labor when his nomination comes before the full Senate for consideration.”

This article was first published in Voxxi.

Rocio Gonzalez is a multimedia editor for VOXXI. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she is an avid reader, amateur baker and a journalism graduate from American University in Washington, D.C.

[Photo by Center for American Progress]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

How a harsh criticism turned ‘Coco’ into Pixar’s most uniquely made movie yet

Victor Landa November 17, 2017

Director Lee Unkrich was hot off the box office success and Oscar win for 2010’s “Toy Story 3” when he delved into making a movie that focused on the Mexican […]

Trump Administration Targets and then Mocks Immigrant with Prosthetic Leg

Victor Landa November 15, 2017

A 20-year-old undocumented immigrant with prosthetic leg and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status has been detained by federal immigration agents and held without charges for over a month, treated inhumanely […]

More Latinas are becoming teachers and reshaping our nation’s classrooms

Victor Landa November 29, 2017

The growth of the Latino population in the United States will have a lasting cultural and intellectual impact beyond the arts, food, and celebrations. More and more, Latinas are becoming […]

As Numbers Grow, Recognizing Generations Of Latino Veterans

Victor Landa November 10, 2017

As the nation honors its veterans, government officials point to the growing numbers of Latinos in the military, while Hispanic scholars and historians remind us of the generations of Latino […]

U.S Hispanic Chamber Leader Who Has Had Turbulent Relationship With Trump May Be Ousted

Victor Landa November 22, 2017

The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) is moving behind the scenes to oust its prominent president Javier Palomarez over allegations that he misused the organization’s money for his personal […]

How Indie Latinx Comic Book Authors Are Capturing the Latinx Experience

Victor Landa November 13, 2017

Back in 2010, comics creator Javier Hernandez was walking around San Francisco with his friend Ricardo Padilla when he had an idea: Why don’t they build a comics convention focusing […]

Half of Latino Immigrant Characters on TV Are Portrayed as Criminals, Study Finds

Victor Landa November 1, 2017

Define American, the immigration nonprofit founded by Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, has released its first-ever media reference guide for writers, directors, and producers concerning Latino immigrant characters. Immigrants and […]

Could Hispanic vote push Lupe Valdez into Texas Governor’s Office?

Victor Landa December 8, 2017

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is running as a Democratic candidate for Texas Governor after a year of speaking out on big state issues– particularly the controversial sanctuary cities ban. Experts says […]