Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Great news for American Labor!

McConnell Backs Down, Submits to Up-or-Down Vote on Solis

By Dana Houle aka DHinMI @ DailyKos

A few minutes ago Harry Reid announced that there will be a final confirmation vote at 4:30 EST today. That means that Republican leader Mitch McConnell—husband of Elaine Chao, George W. Bush's secretary of labor, whose appointment was never subject to a cloture vote—determined it was futile to try to block the confirmation of Secretary of Labor designate Hilda Solis.

This is great news for at least two reasons. First, with the economic crisis, we need a strong Department of Labor led by a strong progressive with the right priorities. Second, as Meteor Blades described yesterday, Hilda Solis could turn out to be a great Secretary of Labor."
This is great news on several fronts. First off, it shows that the RepubliCons probably DIDN'T HAVE THE VOTES to block an unabashedly pro-labor progressive from taking the seat as Secretary of Labor. Secondly, having Solis in office will be a huge step forward in promoting pro-middle class, pro-working person policies in American workplaces. Solis is a bona-fide progressive, and if she can help President Obama and the Democratic Congress push through the Employee Free Choice Act, it will provide a HUUUGE shot in the Arm to the American labor movement, which had been in decline for decades.

The Employee Free Choice Act allows employees to have democratic vote on unionizing without interference and stall-tactics on the part of management. Its passage is far from assured, but there's reason to believe that Democrats may have the votes in the Senate to pass it, and it's clear now that the RepubliCons DON'T have the votes to block any and all pro-Labor appointments or legislation.

This is good news for American working people!

UPDATE!!
Senate Confirms Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary

"Hilda Solis is the new secretary of labor. After Republicans backed away from an Expected filibuster and agreed to stop their weeks of delaying tactics, the Senate This afternoon approved Solis’s nomination by an 80-17 vote.

Says AFL-CIO President John Sweeney:
The confirmation of Rep. Hilda Solis is a huge victory: Finally, Americans will have a secretary of labor who represents working people, not wealthy CEO’s. It is also a Historic moment as Rep. Solis becomes the first Hispanic secretary of labor.

The delay of Rep. Solis’s nomination for partisan and ideological reasons was overcome by the grassroots support of millions of Americans who are struggling and desperately need a secretary of labor who will be their voice.


Courtesy of the AFL-CIO.

Score one for the good guys!

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