Michael Mukasey

Perez clears committee, now faces larger fight

WASHINGTON -- Democrats and Republicans quickly squared off Thursday over the confirmation of Labor Secretary nominee and Marylander Tom Perez -- preparing for a fight that is likely to intensify after a Senate committee voted along party lines to advance his nomination to the full Senate.

House Democrats crafted a letter with 137 signatures to Senate leaders calling for a quick vote. "America's workers deserve a Labor Department operating at full capacity, especially as our economic recovery moves forward," Rep. Steny Hoyer, the Southern Maryland lawmaker and minority whip, said in a statement.

But Republicans, concerned about actions Perez took as head of the...