Report: Solis Tapped to Head Labor
Are we making up for our DOT pick?
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Rep. Hilda Solis to head the Dept. of Labor, according to reports. The California Democrat has a long record supporting workers in general and unions in particular. Before she arrived in Washington, for example, she led the successful charge to raise California’s minimum wage, according to The Associated Press.
More recently, she’s been a vocal advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow workers to form unions more easily. The controversial bill is widely expected to surface early next year when Democrats will command the White House and stronger congressional majorities.
The Service Employees International Union issued a statement an hour ago calling the choice “great news for America’s workers.”
Solis comes from a union family and has never forgotten her roots in her public service career. Her appointment is a win for the prospects of the Employee Free Choice Act and the economic future for the people of this country who get up and go to work every day.
Environmentalists are praising the pick as well, pointing out that Solis has been on the front-lines of the push to create green jobs. Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, issued a statement today saying the group “can think of no better person to help President-Elect Obama implement his plans for an economic recovery fueled by the creation of millions of new green jobs.”
Solis, who sits on both the House energy committee and the special global warming panel, has a lifetime environmental voting record of 97 percent, according to the League of Conservation Voters.
In the wake of criticism aimed at Obama for his recent pick to have Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) run the Dept. of Transportation, this should calm the storm a bit.