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Report: Perez Obama's pick for labor post

WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- President Obama intends to nominate Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez to be his next labor secretary, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The newspaper cited two people in the administration familiar with the decision as saying Perez, 51, who works in the Justice Department's civil rights unit, is the president's pick to replace Hilda Solis, who resigned in January.

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The Post said White House officials declined to comment on Perez, a first-generation Dominican-American, or the nominating process. Perez, who was Gov. Martin O'Malley's labor secretary from 2007 to 2009, also wouldn't discuss the situation.

"I can't really discuss it, I apologize," he said when the newspaper reached him by phone.

Perez's nomination would require Senate confirmation.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement that if nominated, Perez "should face a lot of tough questions" about the Justice Department's role in a decision last year by St. Paul, Minn., to withdraw a housing discrimination case that was before the Supreme Court.

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