First, Nancy Killefer, tapped to be the federal government's chief performance officer, withdrew her nomination after reports that she had neglected to pay employment taxes for household help. Then, Tom Daschle, the president's pick as secretary of health and human services, saw his nomination crumble amid revelations he failed to pay federal taxes.
Now, Hilda Solis' nomination to be secretary of labor has come under attack by Senate Republicans raising questions about her husband's taxes.
Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee issued a joint statement just before the committee was scheduled to vote on Solis' nomination to say they need more time to review documentation.
At issue is a $6,400 payment made yesterday to Los Angeles County yesterday by Solis' husband, Sam Sayyad, to settle a tax lien on his auto repair business. USA Today reported Thursday that Los Angeles County records showed 15 state and county tax liens amounting to $7,630 against Sayyad and his business. In some cases, the liens have been outstanding for as much as 16 years.
The White House struck back at claims that Solis' nomination was in danger, stating that her taxes were in order. According to a White House spokesman, Solis and her husband file their taxes jointly, but Sayyad is the sole proprietor of his business.
"She's not a partner in that business," White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "So we're not going to penalize her for her husband's business mistakes."
Sayyad plans to appeal the liens.
Solis has also been criticized by Republican senators over what they see as an overly cozy relationship with pro-labor groups. Solis was the only House member on the board of American Rights at Work, a nonprofit organization that supports legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize.