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GOP Effort Against Labor Nominee Gains Steam

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
McConnell signaled in a floor speech that he might oppose Perez, the president’s pick to lead the Labor Department.

Alexander added, “I think there are very serious questions about his nomination and the more we learn about it, the more concerning they are.”

No Republicans signaled that they planned to vote against Perez during the HELP Committee’s April 18 confirmation hearing.

McConnell’s Concerns

In his remarks Wednesday, McConnell cited Perez’s involvement in the dropped St. Paul whistle-blower lawsuits, which Republicans argue had the potential to return up to $200 million in damages to the Treasury. The separate case before the Supreme Court challenged the use of statistics to prove racial discrimination, and Justice Department officials reportedly were concerned that the court could strike down the practice.

“Here was a case where Mr. Perez was allegedly so concerned about a potential Supreme Court challenge to the legality of a theory he championed in housing discrimination suits, known as ‘disparate impact,’ that he quietly worked out a deal with St. Paul officials whereby they’d withdraw their appeal to the Supreme Court of the disparate impact case if he arranged for the federal government to throw out two whistle-blower complaints against St. Paul that could have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for taxpayers that had been falsely obtained,” McConnell said.

He also charged that while Perez was a member of the Montgomery County Council in Maryland he “pushed through a county policy that encouraged the circumvention of federal immigration law” and “tried to get the county to import [Canadian] drugs even after a top FDA official said doing so would be, in his words, ‘undeniably illegal.’

“His willingness, time and again, to bend or ignore the law and to misstate the facts in order to advance his far-left ideology leads me and others to conclude that he’d continue to do so if he were confirmed to another, and much more consequential, position of public trust,” McConnell said.

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