Hilda Solis's Nomination Delayed Further
by Todd Beeton, Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 10:42:30 AM EST
While I'd like to say "GOP DELAYING SOLIS NOMINATION" I'm afraid that's not entirely true.
The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee said Thursday that lawmakers need more time to review documentation submitted in support of Solis.
The statement from Sens. Kennedy and Enzi made it seem benign enough:
"Today's executive session was postponed to allow members additional time to review the documentation submitted in support of Representative Solis' nomination to serve in the important position of Labor Secretary. There are no holds on her nomination and Members on both sides of the aisle remain committed to giving her nomination the fair and thorough consideration that she deserves. We will continue to work together to move this nomination forward as soon as possible."
If only that were true that "both sides of the aisle" intend to "move this nomination forward as soon as possible." The fact is that Republicans are intent on blocking Solis because of her support and advocacy for The Employee Free Choice Act.
Some Republicans have raised questions about her role as treasurer of American Rights at Work, a group pushing for passage of a bill to make it easier for workers to form unions.
And look at what the committee's ranking member has suggested:
Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, the committee's top Republican, has suggested that Solis should recuse herself for two years from debate over the legislation because of her position with the group.
Clearly Enzi is operating in bad faith here and I'd truly be surprised if any Republican on this committee votes for her. So be it.
Can we please stop treating Republicans in Congress as though they want to do anything other than obstruct and Mr. President, it's time to get into this fight; it's time to start using some of that political capital you earned before it wastes away.
Update [2009-2-5 17:57:58 by Todd Beeton]:The Washington Post reports that the reason the committee needs "more time" is due to Solis's husband's not having paid tax liens on his business. A smoke screen but it is what it is.
A Senate committee today abruptly canceled a session to consider President Obama's nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis to be labor secretary in the wake of a report saying that her husband yesterday paid about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business -- including liens that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years.
The report, by USA Today, came just before the Senate's Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee was slated to meet to consider Solis's nomination, which had been delayed by questions over her role on the board of the pro-labor organization American Rights at Work. A source said that committee members did not learn about the tax issue until today.