Department of Labor

Senate Confirms Perez as Labor Secretary

A party-line vote


The Senate confirmed Thomas Perez, a top Justice Department official, as the next U.S. labor secretary, in a party-line vote of 54-46 that underscores the partisan divide over Mr. Perez and his qualifications to steer workplace regulation in a way that helps the economy.

The confirmation was part of the deal that Senate Democratic leaders struck with Republicans to fast-track confirmations of a handful of nominees. Mr. Perez, who heads the Justice Department's civil-rights division, has faced strong opposition from Republicans who have said workplace regulation has grown too aggressive under President Barack Obama and could become more so under Mr. Perez.

The partisan split is a prime example of a broader divide in Washington and reflects how Democrats generally want to improve federal protections for workers, while Republicans say too much regulation threatens job growth.