Solis Lingers; Acting Secretary Appointed

Amid threats of a Republican hold on Labor Secretary nominee Hilda Solis, President Obama has asked a top department official to serve as Acting Labor Secretary until she's confirmed. Edward Hugler, currently the deputy assistant secretary for administration, has spent more than 30 years in a variety of functions in the department.

Solis's fate is unclear. Her status as treasurer of the pro-EFCA American Rights at Work (ARW) is what's causing concern. Republicans shouldn't really have expected Obama to nominate someone who didn't support labor's agenda, including card check, but they're professed surprise. More legitimately, they point out that ARW was a lobbying for labor, and the position of treasurer includes the moving around of lots of money. It's not clear where the lines of demarcation are between her ARW duties and Congressional ethics rules, which look askance at members who help to run organizations that lobby Congress. (Solis was not paid for her work, and ARW insists that her role was ceremonial.)

The news of a temporary appointment comes on the day that Labor begins a massive public campaign to pressure Congress to speed up its consideration of EFCA.  Several thousand workers will deliver 1.5  million signatures to members today. The aim is to contrast "real grassroots support" with the "fake front groups" set up by corporations to oppose card check, a labor official said.  Leading grasstops opposition groups released a poll today purporting to show that most Americans don't want to join a union.

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Politics

Just In