Ordinarily, committee votes on cabinet nominees wouldn't be especially interesting, but this one was a little more important than most.
President Obama's pick for labor secretary cleared a minor hurdle in the confirmation process Thursday as a Senate committee voted to clear the nomination of Thomas Perez for consideration by the full Senate.
Members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee voted 12-10 along party lines, with all Republicans opposing the nomination while the Democrats supported it.
If you're looking at your watch, thinking it's a little early for a committee vote on a cabinet nominee, you're correct -- the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee scheduled this vote early on purpose, so as to circumvent Republican obstructionist tactics.
Last week, when the committee wanted to approve the Perez nomination, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) used a procedural motion on the Senate floor to block the vote. Committee Democrats scheduled this morning's vote extra early so GOP senators couldn't get in the way.
It may seem silly and childish, but then again, so is Congress.
What's more, let's also not forget that the objections Republicans have raised about Perez are, as Adam Serwer has reported several times, partisan nonsense.
The next question, of course, is what happens next. Perez has cleared committee, but what happens when his nomination is brought to the floor?
Senate Republicans have not formally announced their plans, but a filibuster appears extremely likely. And if that happens, there will be a couple of angles to keep an eye on, other than the obvious fate of Perez himself.