A former Maryland labor secretary, who has been nominated to lead the federal Labor Department, is facing a tougher confirmation process than was previously expected. President Obama nominated Thomas Perez to be Secretary of Labor back in March. By mid-April, he seemed to be on a straight path to confirmation, but mounting opposition from Republican senators has put his appointment in question. David Hawkings, political columnist at Hawkings Here for Roll Call, talks about the latest details.
On what kind of opposition Thomas Perez's nomination is facing now: "The Republicans have come up with a range of things to criticize Perez for. And in the aggregate, they seem to be sticking. They say that in his job at the head of the civil rights division at the Justice Department, he hasn't handled things properly, he has abandoned cases he shouldn't have abandoned, pressed cases he shouldn't have pressed, and fixed what they call the ideological polarization of the department. But really what's going on here is that they don't want a Secretary of Labor who would support labor rights."
On what's next for Perez's nomination: "There was this protest this week in committee, Republicans in committee used a wrinkle in the rulebook to delay the vote for one week. But that takes us to next Thursday, and he should have no trouble getting through to committee next week. The Democrats run the committee. There's no such thing as a filibustering committee, so his nomination will go to the floor. It's at that point, however, where he may get stuck because the Republicans are increasingly talking about mounting filibusters against cabinet nominees. This is a new phenomenon in Washington. Traditionally, the president -- both parties -- got his cabinet people confirmed on a straight up or down vote. But the rulebook seems to be changing all the time.
Listen to the full analysis here.