The delay was announced moments after USA Today reported that Solis’ husband had recently paid off $6,400 in tax liens on an auto shop he owns in Los Angeles.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee provided few details on why it postponed the committee vote on Solis, though Senate Republicans have expressed concerns about the nominee’s refusal to answer questions on a wide range of labor and union issues. Republicans are gearing up for a huge fight on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make unionizing much easier, and they are targeting Solis’ nomination.
The Obama administration insisted Thursday afternoon that her nomination was not in danger.
“We're not going to punish her for her husband's business mistakes," said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said at his afternoon White House press briefing.
In its announcement Thursday afternoon, the HELP committee would only say it needed more time to review some fresh documents related to the Solis nomination.
But in a statement today, HELP Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and ranking member Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) issued a statement saying that Republicans had not placed a hold on Solis’ nomination, as they had threatened to do so.
“Today’s executive session was postponed to allow members additional time to review the documentation submitted in support of Rep. Solis’ nomination to serve in the important position of labor secretary,” Kennedy and Enzi said.
“There are no holds on her nomination, and members on both sides of the aisle remain committed to giving her nomination the fair and thorough consideration that she deserves. We will continue to work together to move this nomination forward as soon as possible.”