Senate Confirms New Labor Secretary

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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) speaks as Assistant Attorney General of Justice Department's civil rights division Thomas Perez (R) listens to his announcement to nominate Perez as the next labor secretary on March 18, 2013 at the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

Whoa, the Senate was productive today! After months of delay, Tom Perez was confirmed as head of the Department of Labor on a 54-46 vote. He now becomes the only Latino in President Obama's cabinet. Perez was one of Obama's numerous federal nominees backlogged by Republican filibusters, but the vote was finally allowed as part of a deal struck earlier this week by majority leader Harry Reid. Perez was previously head of the civil rights division at the Justice Department, and Republicans have, as usual, criticized him as being a liberal ideologue.