Labor Unions Press Senate to Back Herman
By Frank Swoboda
The AFL-CIO called on the Senate Republican leadership yesterday to conduct immediate confirmation hearings for Labor Secretary-designate Alexis M. Herman, questioning why they were holding up the nomination of the only African American woman in the Clinton Cabinet.
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, at a meeting in Los Angeles, called the confirmation delay "outrageous" and announced the federation's executive council had approved a resolution reiterating labor's support for Herman.
Herman's confirmation hearing has been held up by Republican leaders who have raised questions about her role in Democratic fund-raising last year while she was director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.
Questions are also being raised in Congress about some of Herman's business dealings before joining the Clinton administration while she was executive director of the Democratic National Committee.
The show of AFL-CIO support yesterday was designed to counter news reports that the White House may be wavering in its support for Herman.
"The AFL-CIO calls for immediate hearings on the nomination of this African American woman," the executive council said in its resolution.
"It is time for Alexis Herman to be able to stand in an open forum and have her nomination considered by the United States Senate."
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