- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
GOP wins delay in battle to block Labor nominee Thomas Perez
Question of the Day
President Obama’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Labor hit another snag in the Senate on Wednesday after Republicans who oppose the pick used a parliamentary maneuver to again delay a key vote on his nomination.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee was forced to push back a vote on Thomas E. Perez, former assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, as Republicans stepped up their campaign to deny him the job.
To delay the vote, Republicans invoked a rarely used rule that committees cannot start a meeting more than two hours after the Senate floor session starts for that day. Committees routinely waive the rule with consent from both parties, a Democratic Senate aide said, but Republicans would not do so Wednesday.
In late April, the committee postponed an earlier vote on Mr. Perez’s nomination as Republicans sought extra time to track down another witness.
In what will likely turn into a party-line decision, the Senate committee is now scheduled to vote May 18. If Mr. Perez, 51, is finally approved by the Democrat-controlled committee, his nomination would then go to the Senate floor, where Republicans could renew their effort to block his confirmation.
“I am deeply disappointed that, after additional time was granted as a matter of courtesy, members of the Republican Caucus have now used procedural roadblocks to delay committee consideration of the president’s Cabinet choice for secretary of labor, the eminently qualified Thomas Perez,” committee Chairman Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, said in a statement. “Despite this needless delay, the [committee] will vote next week on Mr. Perez’s nomination, and I hope that the full U.S. Senate will work quickly to consider and confirm Mr. Perez.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mc-Connell accused Mr. Perez of having a “flippant and dismissive attitude” about the law. The Kentucky Republican pointed to a statement Mr. Perez made when he acknowledged “‘sometimes you have to push the envelope.’”
“Think about that statement: ‘Sometimes you have to push the envelope,’” Mr. McConnell said. “Is that the kind of approach to federal law we want in those we confirm to run federal agencies? Folks who think that if federal law is inconvenient to their ends, they can simply characterize it as unclear and use that as an excuse to do what they want?”
If confirmed, Mr. Perez would be the only Hispanic member of Mr. Obama’s second-term Cabinet. But the Senate’s best-known Hispanic member, Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, announced Wednesday he would oppose the nomination.
But Senate Democrats remain strongly united behind the nominee.
“I think the evidence clearly shows that you acted ethically and appropriately at all times,” Mr. Harkin said of Mr. Perez at last month’s confirmation hearing.
© Copyright 2014 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 email@example.com.
- Dysfunction, disarray at Homeland Security management cited in IG's report
- GM's Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- Treasury sells last shares in 'Government Motors'
- U.S. businesses reach out quickly to partners in Iran
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- Federal judge rules D.C. ban on handguns in public is unconstitutional
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq