Solis gets Labor nod

The California congresswoman adds diversity to cabinet, pleases labor groups.

Published December 18, 2008 7:59PM (EST)

Barack Obama's selection today of California Rep. Hilda Solis (D, 32) as his Labor Secretary nominee seems to be a hit so far with pro-labor voices.

Matt Browner-Hamlin, blogging for SEIU at their website writes:

The announcement of Representative Hilda Solis as President-elect Obama's Secretary of Labor is 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.

George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and a top adviser to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, released the following praiseworthy statement:

 "Hilda Solis is a very strong champion of working families and will be an outstanding Secretary of Labor. Her record in the California legislature as a leader on labor issues and her excellent work in Congress on behalf our of nation's working men and women will restore the Department of Labor as an advocate for hard working Americans. I look forward to working with her and the Obama administration to move the country forward on expanding health care, improving worker safety, strengthening retirement security and rebuilding our middle class."

Update: Statements from American Rights at Work Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell and Chairman David Bonior (both of whom were rumored to be candidates for the job) on Solis, who is on the ARW board, for SecLabor:

Maxwell: "What a great choice. Rep. Solis brings the expertise and leadership required to a department in desperate need of reform and will champion common sense policies like the Employee Free Choice Act to restore balance and create an economy that works for everyone.

Bonior: “I’ve worked with her for years in Congress and she sits on our Board of Directors -- she is a terrific leader who I know first hand will work tirelessly on behalf of America’s working families.”


By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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