Hilda Solis Confirmation Appears Certain

Mar 14, 2009 | Updated May 25, 2011

The Obama administration expressed confidence on Wednesday that one of the few remaining holes in its cabinet would be filled shortly.

The nomination of Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary is slated to be brought to a committee vote today. And White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that President Obama was confident that she would be confirmed.

"He is not [concerned with the delays in her nomination]," said Gibbs, "and hopefully that process will continue through the committee today, and hopefully on to the floor soon, and she will be sworn in as the next Secretary of Labor. The president has confidence in her ability to continue the department's mission and I think that process will hopefully conclude soon."

There are a variety of factors that have prevented a quick confirmation for Solis: most prominently, tax leins that her husband had failed to pay on a business he owned. But within the labor community, the failure to quickly move her nomination along is being interpreted as a slight to workers and, more specifically, an early shot in the coming legislative battle over the Employee Free Choice Act. Last week a union official said that Democrats, including the White House, were ready to "take off the gloves" when it came to getting Solis confirmed.

That proved largely more bark than bite. But, to the source's credit, Solis does stand to be confirmed as Secretary later this week.

UPDATE: Solis is passed, by voice vote, through the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The Senate should take up her nomination in a matter of days. Labor officials are at once relieved and ecstatic.