Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Thursday, February 05, 2009

EFCA Introduction "Soon", Solis Committee Vote Today

Representative George Miller did not introduce the EFCA yesterday, but promised to do so "soon." For a good history of how the bill fared last Congress and some background on the coming fight, see The Hill's story, Dems to introduce controversial card check bill 'soon'.

Secretary of Labor Designate Hilda Solis finally gets a committee vote today. Her nomination has been stalled by an unnamed Republican Senator. Although the consensus still seems to be that she will be confirmed, there has been some question about her role with American Rights at Work, a labor advocacy group which has been lobbying for the EFCA. Representative Solis has been a board member and treasurer of the group.

The problem arises because it engages in lobbying activities and it is illegal for a sitting member of Congress to lobby. Apparently the House rules allow a member to be on the board of a non-profit that lobbies, as long as they don't take part. The fact that she is Treasurer of the organization makes it a little more complicated, but maybe not enough. Mark Ambinder of the Atlantic has a fairly concise description of the issue here.

One reason this may not be enough to derail her nomination is that unlike the tax problems of potential cabinet members that have come to light, there is a lot more "transparency," to use one of the new buzzwords as her membership on the Board of the the organization has been well known.

Update, 03:41 PM: No vote today. USA Today stories about tax liens on her husband's business are the latest. See Solis Vote Postponed After Husband's Tax Liens Revealed at TPM.


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