Solis' Husband Has Tax Problem
The latest Cabinet nominee to encounter difficulty is Hilda Solis, President Obama's choice to head the Department of Labor. A scheduled hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has been postponed in light of news that Solis' husband had $6,400 in tax liens against his business for many years, liens he paid only yesterday.
Robert Gibbs reacted to the news appropriately:
"She's not a partner in that business," Gibbs said. "We're not going to penalize her for her husband's business mistakes."
The larger question is why the issue, which Gibbs said was uncovered during the vetting process, wasn't disclosed earlier. The tax liens shouldn't mar Solis' candidacy, but an earlier disclosure of their existence would have smoothed her confirmation. The Senate committee apparently didn't learn about the problem until today. [more ...]
Before her husband's tax problems surfaced, Republican members of the committee were concerned about Solis' "role on the board of the pro-labor organization American Rights at Work." A Labor Secretary who sat on the board of a pro-labor organization? Shocking!
American Rights at Work has lobbied for legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize, but Solis (who was not paid for her board membership or duties as treasurer) did not act as a lobbyist or directly supervise lobbyists. She did co-sponsor the legislation that American Rights at Work supports, a fact that troubles Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce. They would apparently prefer to see a Labor Secretary who is hostile to unions.
This latest distraction notwithstanding, there's no reason to delay Solis' confirmation. Her commitment to labor isn't a disqualification from acting as Labor Secretary, and her husband's neglect of his tax obligations is her husband's problem, not hers.
|< Justice Ginsburg Has Cancer Surgery | Investing in Justice >|