Department of Labor

Senate Panel Approves Labor Secretary Nominee

Party line vote for Tom Perez

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Tom Perez's nomination to be Secretary of Labor is headed for the full Senate, after winning approval from a Senate panel Thursday in a party-line vote.

At a brief morning session, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions voted, 12-10, to back Perez's nomination. The vote had been repeatedly delayed at the request of Republican members who said they needed more time to obtain and study information about Perez's record as the head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.

Republicans have been highly critical of Perez's role in brokering a deal with the City of St. Paul, Minn. in which the Justice Department agreed not to join a lawsuit claiming the city illegally obtained federal housing funds. In exchange for that move, the city settled litigation at the Supreme Court that Perez thought might undermine a theory of civil rights enforcement known as "disparate impact."