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Another White House Exit: Labor Sec. Hilda Solis Resigns


Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis (Getty Images)

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced Wednesday that she is resigning from the Obama administration.

"[A]fter much discussion with family and close friends, I have decided to begin a new future," Solis told her staff in an email.

Following news of her departure, the president released the following statement:

Over her long career in public service – as an advocate for environmental justice in California, state legislator, member of Congress and Secretary of Labor - Hilda Solis has been a tireless champion for working families.

Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class.

Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers’ health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work. I am grateful to Secretary Solis for her steadfast commitment and service not only to the Administration, but on behalf of the American people. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Now although it's not unusual to have cabinet members exit at the beginning of a president's second term, Solis' departure comes at a time when the White House has come under some pretty intense criticism for not being “gender inclusive” enough.

Also, along with former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Solis is the most recent member of President Obama's administration to resign on such short notice.

And if you're having a hard time remembering who Solis is, here are a few blasts from the past:

1. Solis earlier this month told CNBC that by extending unemployment benefits in the Senate-backed "fiscal cliff" deal, President Obama saved "millions and millions of jobs."

“What I think about is those two million people that would have lost their unemployment insurance. Because think about it, all that money that goes out in terms of what is being spent by that unemployment check, helps to generate $2 back into the community. So small businesses, everyone continues to keep their jobs,” she said.

“Just by the movement that the president made [in the American Taxpayer Relief Act negotiations], we saved millions and millions of jobs,” she added.

2. In April of 2012, Solis said that “millionaires and billionaires” have “an obligation” to pay more in taxes.

“It’s about fairness,” said Secretary Solis during a presentation at Al Sharpton’s annual convention of the National Action Network in Washington “It’s about fairness in the workplace; it’s about fairness in education; and it’s about fairness in terms of what services are provided by government. And if we can’t have say-so in that, then this isn’t the dream that all of us have aspired to be a part of.”

“If people aren’t paying their taxes, those that can afford it, the billionaires and millionaires — even the folks as you’ve heard yesterday that were in the White House that agreed to pay more. They want to pay more because they know it’s their obligation!” she added:

3. Also in April of last year, Solis wanted everyone to know that she opposed Alabama's stringent immigration laws by having the following posters put up in elevators at the Labor Department:

Courtesy TheDC

“This administration seems to be more interested in using public resources to promote extra-legal social change through propagandizing the federal workforce rather than simply enforcing the laws passed by Congress,”  said Rick Manning of American’s for Limited Government in protest of the posters.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image courtesy Getty Images.

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