News Releases

(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, gave the following remarks on the Senate floor to support confirmation of Thomas Perez as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Remarks as prepared:

“Madam President, I’d like speak briefly about our vote today to confirm Thomas Perez as our next Secretary of Labor, and I’d like to touch on two separate reasons why this particular confirmation vote is so important for this body and for our country.

“First, and something we’ve talked about for several days here, is providing the President and his Administration with the team he needs to help our country grow.

“And for our economy, our families, and communities in each of our home states, filling the position of Labor Secretary could not be more important, because we rely on the Department of Labor to do so many important things for American workers and American businesses

“Whether it’s providing critical workforce development and job training services to get people back to work or into better jobs, ensuring that we have high workplace safety standards, improving conditions and opportunities for women, or helping our service men and women find good jobs when they return home, our country and our economy are stronger when the Department of Labor has a talented, qualified leader at the reins.

“And Madam President, that brings me to the second reason why this vote is so important, and that is the tremendous nominee who we have before us today.

“In Thomas Perez, the President has nominated someone who will bring passion, integrity, and a lifetime of experience to this important position.

“Like so many Americans, Mr. Perez comes from humble beginnings. 

“He’s a second-generation American who put himself through college by collecting trash and working in the university dining hall.

“And since then, he’s spent his career fighting for working families, protecting our important civil rights laws, and turning around troubled agencies.

“And Madam President, there’s no shortage of examples to demonstrate what an effective leader Mr. Perez has been throughout his career.

“He took an Office of Civil Rights at HHS that was ignored and lifeless and breathed new life into it.

“He reformed and rebuilt The Department of Labor in Maryland.

“And he walked into a very troubled Civil Rights Division at DOJ and by all credible accounts he returned high performance, professionalism, and integrity to that agency.

“So Madam President, in a time when we need to do everything we can to protect and grow our shrinking middle class, Mr. Perez is exactly the right person for the job.

“Because in tough times, while we’re still recovering from recession, we need strong, experienced leadership at the Department of Labor.

“And my colleagues here today who support his confirmation, from both sides of the aisle, are not alone.

“From his time working at the local, state, and federal levels, organizations from Maryland and throughout our country have come out to strongly support him, too.

“That includes organizations that represent women, the LGBT community, the Hispanic community, and many more.

“And finally Madam President, throughout his confirmation process, which at times has been very difficult, Mr. Perez has shown nothing but openness, transparency, respect, and the ability to work together and solve problems.

“That’s why I will vote to confirm him today, and I urge my colleagues to support his confirmation as well.

“Thank you Madam President and I yield the floor."