WSJ: Senate Should Reject Perez for Labor Secretary

Image: WSJ: Senate Should Reject Perez for Labor Secretary

Monday, 20 May 2013 12:00 PM

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The Senate should knock down Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez because of his "abuse of power," according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

Perez barely survived a Senate committee vote 12-10 last week.

"Democrats seem determined to confirm Mr. Perez on a party-line vote, and generally we'd say that a President's nominee shouldn't be filibustered," the editorial states.

"But the problem with Mr. Perez isn't merely a difference over policy. It's abuse of power. ...
The Justice Department's civil-rights chief's flexible interpretation of the law and disingenuous testimony echoes other abuses of power currently unfolding in Washington."

At the heart of its opposition to Perez, the Journal noted, is that he persuaded the government of St. Paul, Minn., last year to drop an antidiscrimination case before the Supreme Court in return for an agreement by the Justice Department to refrain from joining two False Claims Act cases against the city.

"In doing so, Mr. Perez undermined civil servants who wanted to pursue the cases, abandoned whistleblower Fredrick Newell who was trying to improve the lot of Minnesota's poor, and forfeited as much as $200 million in potential damages."

That doesn't offer a ringing endorsement for Perez's appointment, the newspaper said. "His record clearly shows he's happy to stretch the law for partisan and ideological purposes. This is one nominee whom Republicans would be doing a public service by defeating."

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