Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) testified today on behalf of Rep. Hilda Solis (D-El Monte), President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, praising her as “a woman of common sense” and “very sound judgment.”

Senator Feinstein’s remarks were made in testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, chaired by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Following are Senator Feinstein’s remarks as delivered:

“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Senator Enzi and members of the committee.

“For me, this is a wonderful moment, because to see women progress and go on, and be very good at what they do, is very special. And Hilda Solis is one of those women, and I'm really very pleased and very proud to recommend her confirmation as Secretary of Labor.

“She is one person who has actually dedicated her life to public service and to improving the lives of people in her community.

“Hilda was the first member of her family to attend college. She graduated from California State Polytechnic University, and later earned a master's in public administration from the University of Southern California -- known as USC, with that great football team.

“Representative Solis began her career in public service in President Carter's administration as the editor of publications in the Office of Hispanic Affairs. After returning to California, she served as a trustee of the Rio Hondo Community College board.

“In 1992, it was a big year. She was elected to the California State Assembly. And unusually, two years later, became the first Hispanic woman in California history to be elected to the California State Senate.

“She was the chairwoman of the very powerful Industrial Relations Committee, and she was instrumental in the successful battle to increase the state minimum wage. She has authored a record 17 state laws aimed at combating domestic violence, including a bill to allow workers to take leave from their jobs to obtain restraining orders against their abusers.

“She won the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for authoring ground-breaking environmental justice legislation that seeks to reduce the number of polluting projects in minority and low-income areas.

“So, she now knows the Hill, is very much respected in the House, and I believe will be, as well, by the Senate.

“This is a woman of common sense and, I believe, very sound judgment. She understands the balances. And I think she very well understands the balance of Secretary of Labor between management and labor issues. She obviously is going to fight for worker rights. But, after all, this is the position of Secretary of Labor.

“I really think it's a wonderful thing that President-elect Obama nominated her for this position. And I'm just very proud to be here to support that nomination along with my friend and colleague, Senator Boxer.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”

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