After a last-minute deal earlier this week to avert a showdown over filibuster rules, the Senate has confirmed Tom Perez as the next Secretary of Labor.
The vote was 54-46.
Praising the vote, President Barack Obama said in a statement "I want to thank the Senate once again for agreeing to move forward on Tom and the other nominees who have waited far too long for the yes-or-no votes they deserve."
Republicans had accused Perez of inappropriate conduct regarding a whistleblower case against the city of St. Paul, Minn., while serving with the Justice Department. Democrats said that Republicans were unfairly blocking a confirmation vote for Perez and a number of other nominees, leading Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to threaten to use the “nuclear option” -- allowing a simple majority vote to change Senate rules for the confirmation of executive branch nominees.
But both sides stood down after reaching a compromise brokered between the two warring caucuses.
The Senate moved Perez’s nomination forward Wednesday with a 60-40 vote, garnering just enough support to move to final confirmation.
Perez will now serve as the only Latino member of Obama’s cabinet.
First published July 18 2013, 10:58 AM