After a last-minute deal earlier this week to avert a showdown over filibuster rules, the Senate has confirmed Tom Perez as the next Secretary of Labor.
The vote was 54-46.
Praising the vote, President Barack Obama said in a statement "I want to thank the Senate once again for agreeing to move forward on Tom and the other nominees who have waited far too long for the yes-or-no votes they deserve."
Republicans had accused Perez of inappropriate conduct regarding a whistleblower case against the city of St. Paul, Minn., while serving with the Justice Department. Democrats said that Republicans were unfairly blocking a confirmation vote for Perez and a number of other nominees, leading Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to threaten to use the “nuclear option” -- allowing a simple majority vote to change Senate rules for the confirmation of executive branch nominees.
But both sides stood down after reaching a compromise brokered between the two warring caucuses.
The Senate moved Perez’s nomination forward Wednesday with a 60-40 vote, garnering just enough support to move to final confirmation.
Perez will now serve as the only Latino member of Obama’s cabinet.
This story was originally published on Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:58 PM EDT