Solis Vote Postponed After Husband’s Tax Liens Revealed

The Senate labor committee has postponed its vote on Hilda Solis’ nomination to become Labor Secretary, with no clear date set to reconsider her confirmation.

Solis has been put through the wringer by Republicans aiming to slow up the Employee Free Choice Act, a core priority of the labor movement. But today’s sudden postponement had a lot more to do with a USA Today inquiry that prompted Solis’ husband to pay $6,400 yesterday in order to settle long-outstanding California tax liens.

Asked how much of the labor committee’s move was attributable to the USA Today report, one GOP source said simply: “100%.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters today that “we’re not going to penalize [Solis] for her husband’s mistakes,” but Republicans are unlikely to leave the matter at that. After the jump is the full Solis statement from Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Mike Enzi (WY), the labor committee’s chairman and senior Republican.

Today’s executive session was postponed to allow members additional time to review the documentation submitted in support of Representative Solis’ nomination to serve in the important position of Labor Secretary. There are no holds on her nomination and Members on both sides of the aisle remain committed to giving her nomination the fair and thorough consideration that she deserves. We will continue to work together to move this nomination forward as soon as possible.

Late Update: AFL-CIO President John Sweeney weighs in with his support for Solis.

During these difficult economic times – when hundreds of thousands of
people are losing their jobs each week – it is crucial that the American people have a strong and dynamic Department of Labor. We have confidence that Congresswoman Hilda Solis is the right person to lead that charge, and we hope a committee vote can be rescheduled soon.

Congresswoman Hilda Solis is eminently qualified for this post, and will be a vigorous advocate for the kinds of programs that our nation’s working people need the most. She will fight to improve skills development and job creation programs, including development of “green collar” jobs. She will work to assure that workers get the pay they have earned and that they work in safe, healthy, and fair workplaces. She’s ready to address the retirement security crisis and will work hard to protect every worker from job discrimination,
regardless of race, sex, veteran status, or disability.