MSNBC reports this morning:
*** Remember that Solis confirmation? [NBC reporter Ken] Strickland also notes that while it seems apparent to Senate Democrats that Hilda Solis will eventually be confirmed as Obama’s Labor secretary, Republicans are making Majority Leader Harry Reid jump through hoops to get her there. This morning, Solis’ nomination will face a procedural vote on the Senate floor that neither Eric Holder nor Timothy Geithner faced in their somewhat bumpy rides to confirmation. This vote will happen immediately following the one on DC voting rights. Strick adds that Republicans are forcing Reid to muster 60 votes to advance the nomination because of her ties to a pro-labor lobbying group, as well as her support for the contentious Employee Free Choice Act. Reid’s office is optimistic that the majority leader will be able to reach an agreement with Republicans for Solis to have her final confirmation vote before week’s end, possibly as early as this afternoon.
Many supporters on the political left, not to mention organized labor, have criticized the Senate’s reluctance to confirm Rep. Solis as evidence of anti-union and anti-EFCA sentiment. On the other hand, some defend further deliberation on account of Rep. Solis’ refusal to comment on anything in her January 9, 2009 Senate Committee hearing, including her position on EFCA — a bill she co-sponsored in 2007 and lobbied for as a member of the Board of American Rights at Work. One of Rep. Solis’ only public statements about EFCA — featured on her House of Representatives webpage — might well have been cause for concern, as it suggested a significant misunderstanding about the bill itself.
The initial cloture vote is expected around 11:00 a.m. today.
UPDATE (1:00 p.m.): The Washington Post reports that Senate Republicans have assured Democrats that they will not filibuster the issue, and that the actual confirmation may come up for a vote as early as this evening.
- "Senate to Hold Crucial Cloture Vote on Labor-Secretary Designee Hilda Solis" — AHN
- "Big Labor’s Girl" — Human Events Online
- "Senate to Take Test Vote on Solis" — Pasadena Star-News
- "It is Time to Confirm Hilda Solis" — The Nation