Solis Vote to Take Place After Recess

Posted February 13, 2009 at 6:19pm

The lingering confirmation of Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) as Labor secretary will be taken up after the Presidents Day recess, according to a Democratic leadership aide.

While Democratic leadership hot-lined the nomination, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has objected to moving forward without floor debate and a roll-call vote. “I just communicated that we’re going to have a vote and a debate,” Coburn said Friday.

The aide said that leadership and Republicans were discussing the details of the full Senate confirmation vote.

Solis’ nomination sailed through the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on a voice vote Wednesday, with just Coburn and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) voting against the nominee.

The committee had delayed its vote by one week after it was revealed that Solis’ husband paid about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years.

Solis, who was nominated to the Labor secretary post on Dec. 19, 2008, sat for her confirmation hearing on Jan. 8. She was met with skepticism from Republicans troubled by her affiliation with American Rights at Work, an advocacy group that supports legislation that would loosen labor organizing rules.

While Republicans grimaced at Solis’ involvement with the group, her confirmation seemed imminent until her husband’s tax problems became public. Solis signed an affidavit to calm Republican fears and move the confirmation process forwards.

Democratic leaders, including HELP Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), have maintained their support of the nominee, a four-term House member. She has also received strong backing from labor groups, led by the AFL-CIO.