作者： 佚名 上传时间：2009-01-03 浏览：124次
Obama to Nominate Rep. Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary
By Bill Leonard
President-elect Barack Obama will nominate U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., to be Labor Secretary, according to newspapers and wire service reports. Obama is set to make a formal announcement during a press conference on Dec. 19, 2009, in Chicago.
When called for a comment, a member of Solis’s congressional staff said that her office could not confirm her nomination. If nominated, Solis would be the first Hispanic woman named to serve on Obama’s cabinet.
Her nomination comes as a surprise, political observers say, because Solis has built a reputation during her four terms in the House as an advocate for the environment and immigration and has not concentrated on workplace or labor issues. Organized labor groups had been urging the Obama transition team to name a high profile labor advocate, such as Linda Chavez-Thompson, former executive vice president of the AFL-CIO and a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Solis, who represents California’s 32nd Congressional District, was re-elected to her fifth term by a wide margin from the heavily Democratic and Hispanic district located on the eastern edge of Los Angeles. She serves as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and is the vice chair of the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. She was recently named to serve on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Early in her congressional tenure, Solis was a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee.
“Hilda Solis is a very strong champion of working families and will be an outstanding Secretary of Labor,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., who chairs the Labor and Education committee, to reporters after news of her impending nomination broke. “Her record in the California legislature as a leader on labor issues and her excellent work in Congress on behalf our of nation’s working men and women will restore the Department of Labor as an advocate for hard-working Americans.”
While most business groups declined to comment on Obama’s selection of Solis until a formal announcement is made, former Rep. David Bonior, who chairs the advocacy group American Rights at Work, was quick to praise her nomination.
“She is a terrific leader who I know firsthand will work tirelessly on behalf of America’s working families,” Bonior said in a statement.
Several different reports had named Bonior as leading contender for the labor secretary spot, but he announced earlier in December that he had withdrawn his name from consideration. Sources also reported that Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm declined the nomination this week, telling President-elect Obama that she did not want to give up her governorship “at such a critical time.”
The nomination of Solis was Obama’s final cabinet pick. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post speculated that the Obama transition team had faced some unexpected problems and hurdles when vetting appropriate candidates for Labor Secretary. Obama’s transition team declined to comment on the process and had indicated that the president-elect would complete his cabinet choices before the Christmas 2008 holiday.