WASHINGTON – Two of President Obama’s second-term Cabinet nominees inched forward Thursday, while another was poised to win final confirmation by the Senate.
Thomas E. Perez, Obama’s choice to lead the Labor Department, and EPA nominee Gina McCarthy won party-line votes of Senate committees Thursday morning, after Republicans had employed various procedural tactics to delay progress in confirming their appointments.
It is unclear at this point how soon, if at all, the full Senate would move to confirmation votes for either nominee. A Senate leadership aide said no vote is likely until after the weeklong Memorial Day recess.
Perez’s nomination, in particular, has emerged as a focal point of Republicans.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), ranking Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said Perez used his current position at the Justice Department as assistant attorney general for civil rights to engage in an "extraordinary amount of wheeling and dealing" beyond his purview.