Authors: Van Jones
Crossposted from The Huffington Post
February 11th, 2009
Almost two months have gone by since President Obama nominated Rep. Hilda Solis for Secretary of Labor.
But some Senate Republicans are playing petty politics, holding up her confirmation. It looks like a cynical and misguided attempt to score points at the expense of the new Democratic President and his cabinet nominee.
America desperately needs a Secretary of Labor, with 600,000 workers losing their jobs just last month. Rep. Solis is eminently qualified for the post. Her entire career is a testament to her deep commitment to making sure everyday people have equal access to educational and economic opportunity. Plus she brings a deep commitment to environmental justice and green jobs for all.
I got to see that commitment up close, when I worked with Rep. Solis on the Green Jobs Act of 2007. That innovative law is designed to get skills and training to America's workers in the critical, emerging industries of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Rep. Solis co-authored and championed that bill -- and got it signed into law by President Bush. She'll bring the same vision, political skill and bipartisan approach to the Department of Labor.
But instead of getting to work solving the country's problems, Rep. Solis has been forced to wait and watch while a few Republican Senators try to make political hay of her husband's small business tax woes. Her husband, Sam Sayyad, owed a few thousand dollars in back taxes. He paid them. And the county says there is no reason to think he was trying to avoid paying his taxes.
So enough is enough. It's time to put country before politics. Give America the Labor Secretary we need and deserve. Confirm Hilda Solis ... NOW.