February 25th, 2009
11:41 AM ET
13 years ago

Labor Department greets new leader

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/25/art.getty.hilda.solis.jpg caption="Hilda Solis was recently confirmed as secretary of labor."](CNN) - Hilda Solis, recently confirmed as secretary of labor, was greeted Wednesday by a crowd of enthusiastic Labor Department employees who braved the cold to greet their new boss on her first day of work.

Solis was greeted as she stepped out of her car by interim acting Secretary of Labor Edward C. Hugler. She shook hands and signed autographs before addressing the crowd.

"As someone who came into this town eight years ago, I can't begin to tell you how incredibly emotional, happy, ... fired up and ready to go [I am] to get our country back to where it needs to be," she said.

Noting the difficult road ahead, she added, "We need to revitalize this agency and we will. We are going to be working and, like the president said yesterday, we are not quitters."

The Senate voted 80-17 Tuesday to confirm the four-term California congresswoman as the Obama administration's labor secretary.

Consideration of the nomination had been briefly delayed as senators reviewed a possible tax controversy surrounding Solis' husband, but the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee supported the nomination
earlier this month.

She takes over a Cabinet agency responsible for enforcing labor laws and managing unemployment insurance at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate stands at 7.6 percent.

"She's a forceful advocate for working families and will bring to the job a genuine understanding and a passion for the issues that affect families so deeply," Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut, said Tuesday.

Filed under: Hilda Solis
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Jose Escobar

    @ Ken.
    Someone is obsessed with illegal aliens. get a life will ya.

    February 25, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. angrysob VA

    Just wait to see what happens with jobs in this country when we go union happy with Obama and Solis.

    February 25, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Once you vote Black

    I am a Democrate but I think it is time to develop an organized way to remove the illegal immagrants from this country. There are just too many of them. As a result our local schools are now 64% English as a second language. the whole culture has changed. If times were good I would say lets work out a wahy to let them stay, but times are bad so we need to regroup. They can come back when we get our selfs back in order.

    February 25, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. bsmith171

    another incompetent member of congress.

    what is her experience as an executive?

    February 25, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Tony

    20 M illegal trade with american worker and bring 20 M democrats new vote..trade american worker with hungry freak power liberal

    February 25, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    @ Ken

    You want to scrub them toilets? Be my guest. I'll hire you to do it at my house...I hate housekeeping. What's that you say? You don't want to clean toilets? Huh. I guess I'll have to find a housekeeper elsewhere then.

    February 25, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Gabe


    Immigration is such a complex issue. It's a shame that hate cards gain support so easily in this game. Republicans love to play with the emotions of our country and people like you can't look at the bigger picture.

    I am not a supporter of ilegal immigration, however the nature of my work is around this topic. You must understand that 12 to 20 million people represent less than 0.8% of our total population. Our current unemployment rate is way higher right now and I believe that this crisis have bigger priorities than something that would solved less than 1% of the issue.

    Thanks God we have smart leaders right now that are focusing in the roots of all these problems and dealing with them as they should, not basing their desicions on political symphaty, populism or political support. We need our priorities straight.

    February 25, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. meh

    Ken> So you worked cleaning people's toilets for less than minimum wage or cleaned people's pools or toilets? Wow. Interesting...
    I agree people shouldn't be here without first going through legal channels, but, really, these people are NOT taking away any jobs. Most Americans think they are "too good" to do the things immigrants do.

    February 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Proud American

    that's why Obama picked her; for her connection to California, home of probably the most illegals.....she'll find inside tracks, and knowing the way OBama loves to "bait and switch," on his promises, illegals will be legal in time to secure a re-election. It's pathetic the way hispanics have to have differentiation....

    @AL – hispanics aren't the largest group in the US. WHITES ARE. And, if white don't pressure OBama to stop letting health care pick up the tab for the 6-10 kids that each breeder has, we'll be behind, and this country will end up a sewer like Mexico.

    February 25, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. ME

    Great pick!

    In response to J.P. above, the Employee Free Choice Act doesn't force anyone to join a union. It just removes a hurdle-drawn-out election processes tilted toward employers and with little or no sanctions for harassment by managers-to organizing.

    Not sure what this has to do with Havana. Are unions just one step on the way to state socialism? Haha. I wish.

    February 25, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. July

    Ken ....

    I am sure YOU and everyone else that blame the ILLEGAL ALIENS would love the work they do. Take it ...

    Go on .. get up at 4 am and go work all day in the SUN. With very little breaks .... go on ... I dare you fight for the fields.

    I dare you to go clean strangers houses.
    I dare you to take care of kids
    I dare you to leave your family in hopes of a 'better' life to help them.

    You see that is the difference between people like you Ken ... you are not willing to leave the country and your family behind to look for a 'better ' life in hopes of helping the family.

    February 25, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. P. Y.

    Hey Ken,
    They are hiring out in the fields of California. Go get a job and I'm sure an illegal will be glad to move on.
    Idiot ! Do you even work ? I bet you sit around drinking beer and collecting welfare because you are always at the computer trying to be sarcastic and trying to " pull chains " of folks who actually do work and care about our great country.

    February 25, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I'm with you Ken! Enough illegals here now.

    February 25, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. CB

    Ken, maybe if you didn't yell so much you'd have gotten that housekeeping job.

    JP, you're probably a good employer. Unfortunately there are many who are not.

    If you co-op or profit-share you might not have to work such long hours and you'd still be able to keep your payroll as low as possible. Or maybe it's a time management issue.

    I think this country will be pleasantly surprised to have a worker-conscious Secretary of Labor.

    If you open your eyes, you'll be astounded at how far from basic human fairness the American way of doing business has fallen. Humans aren't born to serve business. Work is one vehicle to provide some of the most basic necessities of life.

    Don't get me wrong; it's not that I'm not grateful to have a bathroom at the worksite, it's just that I'd like to be able to pay the rent at home, too.

    February 25, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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