Chao Confirmed As Labor Secretary

Yesterday, the Senate approved Elaine Chao, former\r\nhead of United Way, as labor secretary.

It''s official. Yesterday, the Senate approved Elaine Chao, former head of United Way, as labor secretary.

Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., went to the floor Monday afternoon and asked that the nomination be approved by voice vote.

There was no apprehension during the vote or during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where she had been warmly welcomed.

She was questioned about OSHA''s ergonomics standard during that hearing but made no commitments on the rule.

Labor unions have also been supportive of President Bush''s second pick for labor secretary following the controversy over his first nominee, Linda Chavez.

Chavez withdrew her name after it was disclosed that she had given money and shelter to an illegal immigrant who once did chores around Chavez''s house.

A native of Taiwan, Chao has served as former Peace Corps director and deputy secretary of transportation in the administration of former President Bush.

More recently, she has been a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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