Labor secretary confirmed
The Senate confirmed Rep. Hilda Solis of California as labor secretary on an 80–17 vote, after several delays due to Republican objections about her pro-union tilt. Critics also had raised questions about tax liens that had been filed against a business owned by her husband. Solis, 51, the daughter of union activists, received a 97 percent approval rating from the AFL-CIO during her eight years in the House.
Federal money rejected
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would refuse $90 million of federal stimulus money because it would ultimately force his state to raise taxes. Jindal, a Republican, rejected money earmarked to extend unemployment benefits to part-time workers who don’t now qualify. That money, he said, “will run out in less than three years,” sticking Louisianans with the bill. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said he would also reject funds aimed at expanding unemployment insurance coverage.