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Perez Wins Confirmation as Labor Secretary

The Senate today voted (54-46) to confirm Thomas E. Perez as labor secretary. His nomination had been threatened by a filibuster, but Republicans backed down this week as Democrats were preparing to change Senate rules to allow simple up or down majority votes on executive branch nominees.

Yesterday, Perez’s nomination won a cloture vote (60-40), with six Republicans joining all Democrats and two independents in voting to move the nomination to a confirmation vote. But today, all Republicans voted against Perez.

Following the agreement that ended Republican obstruction tactics on several of President Obama’s nominees to Cabinet and agency posts, Richard Cordray won confirmation Tuesday as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Also Republicans decided not to block the nominations of Nancy Schiffer, former AFL-CIO associate general counsel, and Kent Hirozawa, who is the chief counsel to the National Labor Relations Board Chairman Mark Pearce, as members of the NLRB.   

Other stalled nominees due for up or down votes are Gina McCarthy for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Fred Hochberg as president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

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