Unions press GOP senators to confirm Labor nominee
Labor groups are stepping up the pressure on Senate Republicans to confirm Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., as Labor secretary as Republicans press for more details about her husband's tax troubles.
"We are trying to activate our members to reach and speak out to our senators to tell them how important it is that we have Hilda Solis' leadership in the Labor Department," said Ramona Oliver, a spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union.
The group sent a blast e-mail to members and distributed a memo accusing Republicans of hostility toward workers. "The Republicans in general are trying to throw everything but the kitchen sink at Solis," Oliver said.
Solis' nomination has been stalled for weeks amid concerns from Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Republicans over her stance on card-check legislation and her unpaid position on the board of the pro-union group American Rights at Work.
A committee vote on her nomination was postponed last week after reports her husband paid $6,400 to settle 15 tax liens against his small business in California.
Republicans said the delay was procedural. "We are still waiting information to come in on the tax lien issues," said Craig Orfield, spokesman for Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ranking member Michael Enzi, R-Wyo.
He said after Enzi receives answers to the fourth round of questions related to the tax issues and distributes them to committee Republicans, senators will be able to move forward.
"It takes time to gather and review information and pertinent data when questions arise. That's what's going on right now," he said.