THE BLOG
03/13/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What An Outrage: Obama Nominates a Pro-Worker Labor Secretary

Shocking. What can he possibly be thinking? Clearly President Obama does not "get" how things are supposed to work at the Department of Labor. The very idea of nominating someone who has been a lifelong leader and advocate for workers to be the Secretary of Labor is outrageous. (Note that the mission of the Department of Labor is to foster and promote the welfare of U.S. employees and retirees by improving their working conditions and protecting their benefits, helping employers find workers and strengthening free collective bargaining.)

That's the position of corporate interest attack groups, like "Americans for Job Security" and the "Employee Freedom Action Committee." Earlier this week "Americans for Job Security" announced that they are launching a grassroots effort to bring down Secretary of Labor nominee Congresswoman Hilda Solis. You'd think with a name like "Americans for Job Security" they would be interested in helping American workers instead of greedy corporate interests.

You know, it really must be a shock to the system for these people. Having served as an Associate Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, I get it. During the '90s, for the most part, Big Business had to endure eight years of policy that supported and promoted the rights of workers. So the coming of George W. Bush and his corporate agenda was their golden opportunity. For the last eight years, Big Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have had it made. They got eight years of a Labor Department that was completely remiss in its duties to American workers. They pressed every opportunity to advance their interests (and profits) at the expense of workers, waging a full-out war against the interests of middle class families and the Democrats in Congress who supported them. The result: the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, including 3.6 million jobs lost.

Thankfully, the Bush era is over.

President Barack Obama has been crystal clear that American workers are his top priority - as illustrated by his selection of Congresswoman Solis as Labor Secretary and his emphasis on jobs, jobs, jobs.

Hilda Solis is exactly the right type of person to do this work. As the daughter of two immigrant workers and proud union members, Hilda Solis is the embodiment of the American Dream. Solis is an experienced leader who has been an advocate for the middle class and working families throughout her entire career. She has consistently supported efforts to increase the minimum wage and to increase unemployment benefits. Lastly, Solis authored the "Green Collar Jobs Act of 2007" which gives her a unique perspective on how to make the new jobs created in the Economic Recovery Plan the most effective.

Hilda Solis will work tirelessly to help strengthen one of America's greatest assets, its labor force, and her nomination deserves to move forward and be confirmed quickly. America needs to get to work.