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Obama’s choice of Secretary of Labor is coming under scrutiny early on

Vaseline 2 months ago

PObama on Monday nominated civil rights attorney Thomas Perez as his next labor secretary, a move that is already drawing complaints from Republicans.

Perez most recently served as assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights, a department that has come under fire in recent days as conflicts between liberal and conservative factions there were highlighted by an accountant. The investigator also questioned Perez’s veracity in describing the department’s decision to drop a voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panther Party.

And some Republicans are calling for a congressional investigation into whether the Justice Department struck a deal with the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, to withdraw from a housing discrimination case before the Supreme Court.

If confirmed, Perez would become the only Hispanic in Obama’s Cabinet, replacing Hilda Solis. Perez is very popular within the labor community and has built a reputation for fighting voting rights cases.

Perez previously served as secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, but to Washington area residents he is best known for his stint on the Montgomery County Council. Perez was on the body from 2002 to 2006, representing the greater Silver Spring area.

But that local work has not gone unnoticed by critics.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., hammered Perez on Monday about his time at Casa de Maryland, a Latin American rights advocacy group that Sessions said “instructed illegal immigrants how to escape detection, and also promoted illegal employment and driver’s licenses.” for illegal immigrants.”

“This is an unfortunate and needlessly divisive nomination,” Sessions added, calling Perez’s views on immigration “far outside the mainstream.”

And Sen. David Vitter, R-La., vowed to block the nomination.

In turn, the president called Perez an advocate who “has fought to open pathways to the workforce for all who are willing to contribute, including people with disabilities, LGBT Americans and immigrants.”