Senate Panel Delays Vote On Labor Nominee

A Senate panel on Thursday postponed a vote on whether to recommend confirmation of President Obama's choice for labor secretary, amid questions about her husband's taxes.

The delay came after USA Today reported that the husband of Hilda Solis paid more than $6,000 to Los Angeles County Wednesday to settle tax liens against his car repair business.

Three Obama nominees have been criticized for having tax problems, and two eventually withdrew their names from consideration for Cabinet posts. But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Solis' confirmation is not in jeopardy.

"She's not a partner in that business, so we're not going to penalize her for her husband's business mistakes. Obviously, her husband, I think, has and should pay any taxes he owes," Gibbs said.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee issued a statement Thursday saying the vote on Solis was being postponed to give lawmakers more time to review documents. Gibbs said the administration reviewed Solis' tax returns and found everything in order.

The White House has been stung by criticism over nominees' tax problems. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's confirmation was held up because he owed more than $48,000 in back taxes and interest. He apologized and paid the taxes, but Republicans took him to task during Senate hearings.

Earlier this week, former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew his name from consideration as Obama's nominee for secretary of health and human services amid reports he filed amended returns to pay back taxes, and Nancy Killefer dropped her bid to be the nation's first performance officer after it was reported the District of Columbia had filed a lien against her home in 2005 for failure to pay unemployment compensation taxes on household help.

Republicans have also raised questions about Solis' role as a board member of American Rights At Work, a group that is pushing Congress to pass legislation that would make it easier for workers to join unions.

Solis has said her work for the group did not involve any lobbying activities.

From NPR and wire reports

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