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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Thomas E. Perez
With the media giving 24/7 coverage to the federal shutdown and debt-ceiling standoff, other important news is slipping under the radar.
With Thomas E. Perez now confirmed as head of the Labor Department, the agency is expected to unleash a flurry of new regulations that have been bottled up for months — a prospect that has business leaders worried and labor advocates cheering.
The Senate confirmed President Obama’s nominees to head the Labor Department and the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, clearing the decks of the controversial nominees that had threatened to push the Senate into a parliamentary meltdown just two days ago.
Fresh off a bruising immigration bill fight that cost him support among some on the Republican right, Sen. Marco Rubio is refocusing on bread-and-butter issues that play better with the GOP base: defunding President Obama's health law, promoting pro-life policies and attacking the United Nations.
Declaring that the country faces a presidential nominations crisis, the Senate's top Democrat vowed Sunday to press ahead with showdown votes this week that could end up rewriting Senate rules to power through President Obama's team, but also threatens to end the comity that is essential to the chamber's operations.
For President Obama, this is the summer of his discontent. Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, a reliable supporter of the president, has had enough. He recently said: "In Watergate, Sen. [Howard] Baker said it all; everybody uses this: 'What did he know, and when did he know it?'"
Two of President Obama's second-term personnel picks that have attracted conservative and business opposition moved a step closer to confirmation Thursday.
Questions have surfaced over a Justice Department plan to hire 44 more attorneys for its Civil Rights Division, which has been accused of bias by members of Congress and been described in a government report as having deep ideological differences that have fueled disputes harmful to its operation.
President Obama's nominee to run the Labor Department on Thursday acknowledged during his Senate confirmation hearing the administration has understated the nation's unemployment rate.
Republicans have ramped up attacks on President Obama's pick to head the Labor Department, releasing a scathing report that says Thomas E. Perez abused his power and negotiated a dubious deal while serving as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
Republicans looking at the background of Labor secretary nominee Thomas Perez say he "manipulated" federal law while in service as assistant attorney general and is guilty of cutting a "quid pro quo" deal.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez's nomination by President Obama as labor secretary has been met with criticism from Republicans and widespread concern among current and former Justice Department attorneys who question whether the Civil Rights Division chief is qualified for the post.
High-ranking Democratic Party officials say Republicans will undo any good will they build up with Hispanics on immigration if they try to block Thomas E. Perez, an Hispanic lawyer whom President Obama nominated this week to run the Labor Department.
President Obama on Monday nominated civil rights attorney Thomas E. Perez to be the next labor secretary, immediately drawing Republican opposition and another contentious confirmation fight on Capitol Hill.
President Obama Monday nominated Thomas E. Perez to be the next Labor Department secretary — setting up yet another contentious confirmation battle in the Senate.
Moreover, the story Mr. Perez now tells does not easily fit within the emails thus far uncovered.
"That seems to me to be an extraordinary amount of wheeling and dealing," Mr. Alexander said, accusing Mr. Perez of "manipulating the legal process."