Senate Republicans use procedural move to delay committee vote on Perez for Labor secretary

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans have used a procedural move to delay a panel from considering the confirmation of Thomas Perez to head the Labor Department.

A vote in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that was set for Wednesday has been pushed back to May 16.

The move to delay the hearing came hours after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a floor speech calling Perez a “crusading ideologue” who would ignore the law to advance a left-wing agenda. It’s the second time Republicans have acted to delay action on Perez, currently head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The committee’s chairman, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, says he is disappointed in the delay, but vowed to move ahead next week. He says Perez is “eminently qualified” for the post.