Solis Appointment Moves Ahead in Senate

Finally, good news, as reported in The Nation:

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where the [nomination of California Congresswoman Hilda] Solis had been stalled, voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday evening to recommend confirmation of the congresswoman.

Solis, a labor ally who whose confirmation process was delayed by conservative Republicans who objected to her union ties and progressive politics, got the committee O.K. on a voice vote. Only two Republican members of the committee were heard to object.

A full Senate vote is likely this week, and Republican opposition appears to be crumbling.

As noted in the article, opponents to her confirmation first latched on to a tax issue related to her husband’s small business, aka, “A partisan ploy designed to embarrass Obama following the Daschle debacle, rather than a serious complaint about Solis.”  Then, “[a]n objection to the involvement of the pro-labor congresswoman with pro-labor groups was acknowledged even by some Republicans as laughable.”

Once again, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, flown in to vote on the stimulus bill, was able to break the logjam:

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chair Kennedy, a Solis ally and champion, saw an opening and seized it. After consulting Wednesday with key Republicans on the committee, Kennedy scheduled a hasty committee session, called for a vote and got the Solis nomination out of committee and headed toward confirmation.

And that, my friends, is the real value, for any aligned contingent, in having incumbency, experience and seniority on your side.  It’s also the textbook definition of politics.

Other reports: Alternet, Boston.com and, from the AFL-CIO blog, word that the vote might even come tomorrow.