Vitter pledges to block Perez nomination
By Susan Crabtree
The Washington Times
Updated: 2:51 p.m. on Monday, March 18, 2013
Shortly after President Obama officially announced Thomas E. Perez as his choice to be the next labor secretary on Monday, Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana pledged to block the nomination.
Mr. Vitter said he would prevent Mr. Perez’s nomination from moving forward until the Justice Department responds to a 2011 letter accusing it of “spotty” enforcement of the national voting rights laws.
Mr. Perez, 51, is an assistant U.S. attorney general and a first-generation Dominican-American. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Perez would replace Hilda Solis, a Hispanic former member of Congress from California who resigned as labor secretary in January.
At the Justice Department, Mr. Perez runs the Civil Rights Division, which oversees voting-rights issues. Mr. Obama’s selection of Mr. Perez comes less than a week after an audit of the division that found that it had become riven with factions and questioned whether Mr. Perez was completely truthful in information he gave about the decision to dismiss a high-profile voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia.