Thomas Perez Confirmed as U.S. Labor Secretary

The vote on July 18 was 54-46 along party lines after Senate Republicans agreed to let his nomination go forward.

The U.S. Senate voted 54-46 on July 18 to confirm Thomas E. Perez as the next U.S. secretary of Labor, replacing Hilda Solis, who resigned at the end of President Obama's first term. Perez previously served as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and is the first Dominican American ever to serve in a presidential cabinet.

"Today's decision to confirm Tom Perez as the next Secretary of Labor is a critical victory for hardworking families across this nation," said Janet Murguía, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza. "Perez's decades of service as an elected and appointed official have shown him to be a staunch supporter of workers' rights with the keen ability to build consensus among stakeholders. We are confident that Perez has the unique expertise and leadership experience to successfully oversee the work of the Department of Labor, which is especially important for struggling Latinos who face high levels of unemployment."

Perez worked at the Maryland Department of Labor before joining the Justice Department.

"We should note that the process to confirm a qualified candidate like Perez should not have taken nearly as long as it did and that, despite his stellar track record, Perez was subject to a number of unfair attacks on his reputation and career, which unjustifiably delayed this process. We are pleased that the Senate ultimately saw beyond this baseless criticism and made the right choice for the American people," Murguía said.

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