- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Some in GOP likely to block Perez; Marylander seen as a Labor Cabinet pick
President Obama is expected this week to pick former Maryland Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez as his new Labor Department head, but it’s unclear, after Sen. Rand Paul’s dramatic 13-hour filibuster of a vote on a new CIA director last week, if Republicans have the stomach for another nomination fight.
Mr. Perez, 51, has led the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division since 2009 as an assistant U.S. attorney general. Previously, he served as Maryland’s labor secretary, and before that he was the first Hispanic to be elected to the Montgomery County Council.
Unions are upbeat about the possibility of a Perez nomination.
“I would describe him as being friendly to labor,” said Fred Mason, president of the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO. “I would also describe him as being friendly to business. He understands the role that both play in moving American society forward.”
The Hispanic community is also behind Mr. Perez, who would be the second consecutive Hispanic labor secretary, following Hilda L. Solis, who resigned in January after being appointed at the beginning of the Obama administration’s first term.
“It is very, very exciting that another Hispanic representative will take over Hilda Solis‘ position,” said Angela Franco, president and CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “It’s important that President Obama has a Cabinet that understands the different faces that this country has. It’s important to have a perspective from everybody. It shows the diversity that represents this country.”
GOP lawmakers point to a court case in St. Paul, Minn., where he is accused of using questionable tactics to persuade the city to drop a lawsuit that would have made it more difficult to prove race discrimination.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who has long opposed Mr. Perez, was one of several lawmakers last year behind a letter that criticized Mr. Perez for his role in this case that could cost taxpayers $180 million.
“It’s hard to believe that the president would nominate somebody at the heart of a congressional investigation and so deeply involved in a controversial decision to make a shady deal with the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, that ultimately led to losing the American taxpayer potentially hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said in a statement.
“If Mr. Perez is nominated, he should face a lot of tough questions about this quid pro quo deal he appears to have put together,” Mr. Grassley added.
Rep. Sam Graves, the Missouri Republican who chairs the House Small Business Committee, challenged the Labor Department’s recent record of attacking businesses.
“If nominated, I hope that Mr. Perez will be more open than his predecessor to the concerns of small businesses before pushing regulations that could put them out of business,” Mr. Graves said in a statement. “Small businesses have been handicapped by unnecessarily burdensome regulations during the first term of President Obama, and this trend must stop.”
This puts the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the unique position of representing both the Hispanic community, which is cheering the move, and a business community likely to be more skeptical about Mr. Perez.
Ms. Franco addressed this dilemma.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- U.S. businesses reach out quickly to partners in Iran
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- 'Momentous day' for in-debt Detroit
- Cyber Monday, Gray Thursday reflect sales shift
- Bye, bye American pie? China wants in on the U.S. apple market.
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow