Senate criticism of Perez so far has come primarily from Grassley and the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department and is seen as one of the more-partisan panels in the chamber. Perezís nomination to the Labor Department will not come before the Judiciary Committee, however. It will come before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is the top Republican.
Alexander declined earlier CQ Roll Call requests to discuss Perez until the nomination was made official. But the White Houseís announcement is certain to elicit swift responses, as both Democrats and Republicans gear up for what could be another contentious nomination fight.