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News Summary: Senate OKs Labor Department chief

The Associated Press

BREAKTHROUGH: The Senate approved President Barack Obama's choice to head the Labor Department after lawmakers honored a bipartisan pact and removed procedural obstacles that had been blocking the nomination.

DIVIDED VOTE: The chamber confirmed Thomas Perez as labor secretary 54-46, marking the third major vacancy in Obama's second-term leadership team that the Senate has filled in three days.

ABOUT THE MAN: Perez, 51, is the son of Dominican immigrants who worked once as a trash collector. The Buffalo, N.Y., native now leads the Justice Department's civil rights division.