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Calif. Congresswoman Solis Tapped to Head Labor


Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., waves as she speaks at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. (Ron Edmonds/Associated Press)

Updated 3:01 p.m.
By Alec MacGillis
Barack Obama has selected Los Angeles congresswoman Hilda Solis to run his Labor Department, a labor source confirmed today.

Elected to Congress in 2000, she previously served two years in the California Assembly and six in the State Senate, where she was the first female Hispanic state senator. She attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California, beginning her career in the Carter White House Office of Hispanic Affairs. She later worked as a management analyst with the Office of Management and Budget.

Solis has pushed in Congress for more training for so-called green-collar jobs -- jobs that advance industries toward greater energy officials. In the California state Senate, she successfully advocated in 1996 to increase the state's minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.75 an hour. She the only member of Congress on the board of American Rights at Work, a pro-labor group helmed by David Bonior.

In Congress, Solis sits on the House Energy and Commerce committee, the Natural Resources committee, the select committee on energy independence and global warming and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. She has also been outspoken against domestic violence.

Solis, who was born in Los Angeles in 1957, will be the third Hispanic in the Cabinet (in addition to Bill Richardson and Ken Salazar), and the fifth woman (in addition to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Susan Rice, Janet Napolitano and Lisa Jackson), should she win Senate confirmation. She is also yet another Obama pick who originally supported Clinton in the primaries. Solis was an avid supporter of Clinton but was then aggressively courted by Obama as the primaries ended as part of his push to win over Hispanic voters.

Other individuals who had been mentioned for the Labor post include: Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Berkeley professor Harley Shaiken, and labor activist Mary Beth Maxwell, who is the executive director of American Rights at Work.

In all likelihood, the next secretary will spend much of her time contending with the looming battle over the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation supported by Obama that would make it much easier for unions to organize workers but which is opposed by business interests.

Labor unions hailed the choice. "We're thrilled at the prospect of having Rep. Hilda Solis as our nation's next labor secretary," said AFL-CIO president John Sweeney in a statement that also noted that Solis has overwhelmingly pro-labor voting record. "We're confident that she will return to the labor department one of its core missions - - to defend workers' basic rights in our nation's workplaces."

By Post Editor  |  December 18, 2008; 1:59 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Cabinet  
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Comments

jayrkay,

I see your vision and I raise you.

Who currently profits from hiring imported work gangs from private "contractors" while collecting tax breaks and subsidies from Congress?

Your assumption that the Labor Secretary Designate only cares for the interest of illegal workers is the product of ignorance.

I live in the southwest. My city was founded by Spain in 1786.

You'd best not assume that a Hispanic person who identifies herself as an American is going to declare amnesty. If you do you'll be set straight by 4th, 5th, and 10th generation Americans named Solis and Marquez and Gonzales.

And FYI - the farm workers are already unionized thanks to Cesar Chavez. The growers use illegals to bust the union.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | December 19, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

By the way, most fellow americans think we all live on Government management- Idiots!! we owe every thing to private secter and what is lagislated at the center, takes it away- this is the scam, performed by our beloved scam artists in the congress, with thanks to the Center EXE which fecilitates it.This is the morals we have live on - loss of earnings from hard labour- Solis ? the new secretary

Posted by: jayrkay | December 18, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

here is a summation:


At some point this country will just stop functioning with cave people like Hilda Solis running the show. I guess America will have to switch to a marijuana-based economy
do labor unions actually think they are going to benefit when Solis gives amnesty to illegals to work without having to organize. What I see is new'greencard' auto-workers making ground level wages while the ex $73.00 UAW workers are wondering WTF happened here.
It will be called called the Department of Laboring with Solis.
It will not be called the Department of "pick my lettuce but just be thankful you got CHEAP Lettuce with no INflagration
Solis has a strong record on labor and environmental issues and she will make an excellent Labor Secretary
A lot of these comments are stupid and racist. But what can you expect from sore loser Republicans whose policies and ideology have caused economic disaster in America and the rest of the world. I am so glad you guys LOST. Who are the bad losers or who sucked your money out with out paying their mortagageSolis has a strong record on laboring hard and bring out ZeroA lot of these comments are stupid and racist. But what can you expect from sore loser Republicans whose policies and ideology have caused economic disaster in America and the rest of the world. I am so glad you guys LOST.
Solis has a strong record on laboring
Selling out America's workers! How is this "Change"? Sounds like the same old "payback" for votes that we're all used to.

Posted by: jayrkay | December 18, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Re: "putting a union hack at the Department of Labor is job #1 for any Democrat. "

And putting crooks and incompetents in every position is job #1 for every Republican. Thank goodness America has moved forward.


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Posted by: Lisica | December 18, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Solis will probably be an auto-pen for the labor bosses and special interest groups lusting after federal grants and that won't be a surprise. Though this was one of the last Cabinet pics, putting a union hack at the Department of Labor is job #1 for any Democrat.

Elaine Chao has her detractors -- especially union bosses who don't want union members to know how union dues are spent. But Chao has tried to make the Department more effective for all workers -- not just unions -- and it is indisputable that despite a couple of high-profile mining accidents, workplace fatality and injury rates are at record lows during her tenure. She's also held the line on spending far more than any other federal agency.

Solis has a hard act to follow.

Posted by: Gidgmom | December 18, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

A lot of these comments are stupid and racist. But what can you expect from sore loser Republicans whose policies and ideology have caused economic disaster in America and the rest of the world. I am so glad you guys LOST.

Solis has a strong record on labor and environmental issues and she will make an excellent Labor Secretary.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | December 18, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse


Say goodbye to workplace raids and the requirement for secret ballots in unionization votes.

But at least Obama’s Hawaiian vacation won't be delayed.

Posted by: WylieD | December 18, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I guess some will have to get use to the 'spanish numerals' on the GM radio dials.

Posted by: JWx2 | December 18, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

do labor unions actually think they are going to benefit when Solis gives amnesty to illegals to work without having to organize. What I see is new'greencard' auto-workers making ground level wages while the ex $73.00 UAW workers are wondering WTF happened here.

Posted by: JWx2 | December 18, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

At some point this country will just stop functioning with cave people like Hilda Solis running the show. I guess America will have to switch to a marijuana-based economy.

Posted by: greg3 | December 18, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Please stop using the word tapped .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | December 18, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr. McCain complained last October that President-elect Obama was "measuring the drapes." What this last of his Cabinet appointments and those before it show is that, in fact, Mr. Obama was measuring needs of the government and talent of those who might serve.

In the lineup of major appointments we see a huge burst of energy, comparable only to the first round of appointments from FDR and JFK. Mr. Obama enjoys an appreciation of historical trial and error unavailable to his distinguished predecessors, and he is making sophisticated and impressive use of that advantage.

Posted by: AppDev | December 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

A Labor Secretary who really cares about workers! What a concept!

Over the past several weeks, it has become clear that the Republican right hates unions so much that it would prefer to plunge the nation into a depression rather than craft a bridge loan that doesn't single out the auto industry's unionized workers for punishment. (As manufacturing consultant Michael Wessel pointed out, no Republican demanded that Big Three executives have their pay permanently reduced to the relatively spartan levels of Japanese auto executives' pay.)

Posted by: StevefromSacto | December 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

SAINT

It's called the Department of Labor.

It's not called the Department of "pick my lettuce and shut the f*ck up!"

Posted by: JohnQuimby | December 18, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Men's median wages are the same as in 1973, see p60-235.pdf graph page 19. Immigration kept wages down even though productivity doubled by some measures. Kennedy 1965 Immigration Act, Reagen Amnesty 1986, Bush Sr immigration increase in 1990 by huge amounts, 1990's increases by Clinton, Clinton Bush Jr illegal wave, massive legal immigration under Clinton Bush and most workers have no bargaining power, low wages and lose benefits.

WaPo and other papers lose circulation and can't understand the immigration they push keeps people's wages down. Now we have Zell's media properties in bankruptcy and NYT not far behind.

The elites see the pain of others and enjoy it. Even their own extended family, they enjoy the ones who are struggling. Join NumbersUSA, support Vdare. Call your Senator and say stop all legal immigration including family reunification, anchor baby, H-1b, student visas, Somali asylum, etc. After 9/11 when we kept silent as Muslim immigration continued, the elites knew they had us. Cowards get extinction. But they lose their job first.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | December 18, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Do you smell amnesty for the 32 million illegals? I do!

Posted by: vgailitis | December 18, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The reason La-Raza is not commenting, is all the Leaders are gushing and experiencing "O"s over this sell-out of American Farmers and Legal Workers.

My guess is the Collection of Businesses that supported La-Raza, are about to get a really Big Dose of Reality, as ALL their workers unionize and bite the foolish hands that fed them!

One quick look at the Article written this last Sunday about McAllen Texas' 100 Year anniversary, and the Hispanic Take-over of Communities built by the Anglos though Political Power, that appeared in all the Rio Grande Valley Newspapers(Monitor, Star, Herald), and you will find immediately what La-Raza means when it proclaims:

All for Hispanics!

Remember the Alamo?

Ahem, Try:

REMEMBER the Frigging ALAMO!

Posted by: SAINT---The | December 18, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Good-Bye Madame Chao! You have been the worst thing for workers since slavery.

Posted by: CubsFan | December 18, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Because she backs unions she's selling out America's workers? Let me guess-- the person who wrote that is a conservative. Perhaps some people do not remember how well workers were treated when this was largely left to the employers. Anyone read about Henry Ford, for example? Interesting how many of the politicians criticizing wages workers got through unions are themselves millionaires (some of the money earned, some inherited).

Posted by: Sutter | December 18, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

This is a huge victory for the environment. Solis has a history of backing environmentally friendly business. It's important for us to support business of the future. One of those sectors will be 'green business.' For example, http://www.simplestop.net stops your postal junk mail and benefits the environment.

Posted by: gustavion | December 18, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Selling out America's workers! How is this "Change"? Sounds like the same old "payback" for votes that we're all used to.

Posted by: edweirdness | December 18, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Another really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS.

Posted by: hclark1 | December 18, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: htruman | December 18, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Selling out America's workers! How is this "Change"? Sounds like the same old "payback" for votes that we're all used to.

Posted by: edweirdness | December 18, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Another really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS.

Posted by: hclark1 | December 18, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Hooray! I've been wondering what's up with the Latinas! My Latina sisters have been working right beside us to get Obama elected. It's time he found a seat at the table for her and Solis has the creds to do a great job. USDOL needs a leader with passion for working people. Another fine choice by the 44th president-elect of the U.S.

Posted by: chicagofan | December 18, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

awesome choice. what a government we are getting!!! been a long time coming.

Posted by: GaiasChild | December 18, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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