LABOR CHIEF: President Barack Obama nominated Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez to be the secretary of labor, choosing a Hispanic lawyer with experience in civil rights and workplace issues. He would replace Hilda Solis, a former California congresswoman and the nation's first Hispanic labor secretary.
THE TASK: If confirmed by the Senate, Perez would take over the Labor Department as Obama undertakes several worker-oriented initiatives, including an overhaul of immigration laws and an increase in the minimum wage.
CRITICS: Some GOP lawmakers say the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has been too politicized. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., called the nomination "unfortunate and needlessly divisive."