Hilda Solis' Confirmation Process Is Back on Track

The confirmation process for Labor Secretary nominee Hilda Solis is expected to move ahead this week after a delay prompted by Republicans who wanted time to review her responses to written questions.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is set to vote on Solis' nomination as early as Wednesday, and a full Senate vote is expected soon after, said Anthony Coley, a spokesman for committee Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Kennedy has been working with Republicans on the panel and "he's pleased her nomination is moving forward," Coley said.

Solis' nomination has been stalled since her confirmation hearing Jan. 9, when some Republicans said her answers to some questions were evasive. In particular, Solis declined to express an opinion about the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill organized labor is pushing that would make it easier for workers to form unions.

Republicans also expressed concern that Solis has served as treasurer of American Rights at Work, a pro-union group lobbying for the card check legislation.

In the committee's written questions to her -- a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press -- Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, the committee's top Republican, asked Solis if she would recuse herself for two years from debate over the card check bill based on her position with the advocacy group. Solis replied that she would not, explaining that she is "not a registered lobbyist."

Enzi has no more questions and is reviewing Solis' responses, said Michael Mahaffey, his spokesman.


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Solis, D-Calif., has been a vocal advocate for labor unions and was a co-sponsor of the card check bill last year, when it was approved in the House but died in the Senate. Business groups oppose the measure.

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