President-elect Barack Obama's choice to be labor secretary, Congresswoman Hilda Solis says if confirmed she will work to promote fair wages and workplace safety. Her comments came at a Senate confirmation hearing Friday.
Appearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Congresswoman Solis outlined her agenda if confirmed by the Senate.
"My priorities if I am confirmed will be first and foremost to make sure that we attend to the goals of the Department of Labor, to see that we have fair wages, that there is safety and protection, and that hopefully that people can aspire to have a good paying job in this country," she said.
The California Democrat testified on the same day that the Labor Department reported that 524,000 jobs were lost last month.
Solis vowed to work to promote job growth, including those that she said would be environmentally-friendly.
"These are jobs that will provide economic security for our middle class families while reducing our nation's dependency on foreign oil and resources," she said.
Solis, the daughter of a union shop steward from Mexico and an assembly line worker from Nicaragua, served in the California state legislature before she was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2000.
She was introduced at the hearing by committee chairman, Senator Ted Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat.
"She has fought for working families all of her life," he said. "In the California Senate and now in Congress, she has been a voice for the voiceless with a true passion for fairness and justice."
Solis also won praise from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for you and good opportunity for our country, as well," he said. "My only caution to you is not to be in anybody's pocket. Do what's right. I intend to support you."
Solis is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate.