Solis Nomination Sent to Full Senate
Updated 6:21 p.m.
By Michael A. Fletcher
Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) took a big step toward becoming the nation's labor secretary, as a Senate Committee this afternoon voted to send her nomination to the full Senate.
The Senate could vote on her long-stalled nomination as soon as this week.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee vote ended weeks of delay in considering the Solis nomination. Committee Republicans had raised objections first about what they saw as Solis's unresponsive answers during her confirmation hearing. Then, there were questions about her work on the board of the pro-labor group American Rights at Work, followed by revelations that her husband had recently settled tax liens filed against her husband's auto repair business.
A scheduled committee vote was abruptly called off last week after news surfaced that her husband paid about $6,400 to settle outstanding tax liens against his business.
White House officials said Solis was not involved in the business and had been unaware of the liens. And her husband, Sam Sayyad, planned to challenge the liens, which were for business taxes he thought he had already paid, the White House said
Republicans spent several days reviewing documents related to the liens, before deciding to let the committee vote proceed. The committee meeting took just two minutes, as members approved Solis's nomination by a voice vote, according to Anthony Coley, a spokesman for committee chairman Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Posted at 5:57 PM ET on Feb 11, 2009
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