Labor Nominee Faces Tough Questions at Hearing

10:46 PM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez is telling senators he would approach the job with an open mind and a willingness to work with business and labor groups to help create new jobs.

Perez, a native of Snyder, NY, who graduated from Canisius High School, was sworn in as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in 2009. He had previously served as Maryland's labor secretary. Labor nominee Perez pledges open mind

Perez also pledges to continue the Labor Department's aggressive enforcement of safety, wage and hour laws.

His comments came at a hearing Thursday in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where he faces tough questions from Republicans about his tenure as the government's top civil rights enforcer.

The committee plans to vote on his nomination next week. But Perez faces a tougher road in the full Senate. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., plans to put a hold on the nomination, forcing it to get at least 60 votes to move forward.

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