The full Senate has confirmed Rep. Hilda Solis (San Gabriel Valley) as the next Labor Secretary.
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For weeks Republicans had dragged their loafers during hearings, objecting to La Puente-born Solis' close ties to organized labor and even her husband's rather minor business-tax problems. Perhaps the real issue, though, was the fear of American business and its Senate proxies that Solis will push for passage of the Employee Freedom of Choice Act -- legislation that would make it easier for workers to form unions. With the presidential election over, EFCA has become the number one cause for the labor movement -- and number one headache for business. The 80-17 confirmation originally was going to have to go through a two-thirds vote just to get to the Senate floor, but the Republican leadership finally dropped a filibuster threat, allowing a straight up and down ballot.