By  on February 25, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Rep. Hilda Solis (D., Calif.) as President Obama’s secretary of labor on Tuesday after overcoming opposition from Republicans, who were concerned with her connections to organized labor.

The 80 to 17 vote makes Solis, the daughter of a Mexican father and Nicaraguan mother, the first Latina ever elected to the cabinet position. As labor secretary, Solis will enforce wage, hour and worker-safety laws, such as overtime and minimum wage. She will oversee an agency of 17,000 full-time employees with an annual budget of $53 billion.

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