- Biden to lead $600 million work force training effort
- Atheists’ Easter taunt to Christians: ‘Jesus is a myth’
- Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
- Josh Romney swipes Harry Reid with photo tweet of dad paying taxes — ‘your paycheck’
- Despite Obamacare problems, some Dems want Sebelius to run for Senate: report
- Angry New Yorkers shred gun registrations in deadline day protests
- Uninsured rate dropping faster in places that embraced pillars of Obamacare, survey shows
- Hawaii, D.C. give residents two more weeks to sign up under Obamacare
- Climate change causing fish to lose their minds, researchers say
- Great Britain tops World’s Most Sexist Nation list
GOP wins delay in battle to block Labor nominee Thomas Perez
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Al Qaeda mocks U.S. in 'extraordinary' Yemen gathering; experts fear CIA caught flat-footed
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.