The Senate voted yesterday to confirm Rep. Hilda Solis (D-El Monte, CA) as Secretary of Labor.  The vote was 80-17.  All fifty-eight (58) Democrats and Independents casting ballots voted yes (with Sens. Harkin and Kennedy not present). 

Today marks Secretary Solis’ first day on the new job.  Per the Associated Press:

Her background as a fierce advocate for organized labor makes her a favorite of union leaders eager to wield more clout after years on the sidelines. She is the daughter of immigrants — her father was a Teamsters shop steward in Mexico while her mother, a native of Nicaragua, worked on an assembly line and was a union member.

Solis has pledged to increase oversight of wage-and-hour laws, worker health and safety regulations and rules covering overtime pay and pay discrimination.

"For Secretary Solis, this is not just another job, but the culmination of a lifetime of action serving as a voice for people who work," said Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union.

AFL-CIO president John Sweeney called her confirmation "a huge victory" and said Solis would represent "working people, not wealthy CEOs."

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