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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

DOL Nominee Tom Perez Clears Committee Vote, Faces Filibuster on Senate Floor

Tom Perez addresses the NCIL membership 2010Yesterday, May 16, 2013, the Senate HELP Committee held an executive session regarding the nomination of Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez to be the next Secretary of Labor (DOL). The Committee, on a strict party-line vote of 12-10, approved Mr. Perez’s nomination, which will now likely be sent to the Senate floor for a final vote. Despite Mr. Perez’s outstanding leadership at the Department of Justice and his impressive history of leadership as a civil servant, no Republicans voted in favor of his confirmation. There are also now indications that if Democrats attempt a floor vote on the issue, Republicans will more than likely filibuster.

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) has been a strong supporter of Mr. Perez’s nomination to lead DOL, primarily due to his steadfast commitment to civil rights and Americans with disabilities. NCIL members have a hard time understanding how playing politics with such a critical position within the federal government is in the interest of the United States. Committee Chairman Senator Tom Harkin has championed Mr. Perez’s nomination, and is also growing frustrated with attempts to block the confirmation, calling Republican efforts “pointless obstructionism” for twice delaying the Committee vote.

NCIL is urging our members to call their senators to voice support for the confirmation of Tom Perez. We are especially encouraging contacting Republican senators to urge them to not play political games by filibustering this important nomination.

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