The U.S. Senate today approved the nomination of Thomas E. Perez as the nation's 26th Secretary of Labor.

Perez has spent his entire career in public service, and will join the Department of Labor on July 23 after a tenure as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Perez previously served as the secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which enforces workplace safety laws, wage and hour laws and a range of consumer rights laws.

His Senate approval comes days after the "nuclear option" showdown between Democrats and Republicans, which saw the GOPers cave on appointments rather than agree to an end to Senate filibusters. As a consequence, all of President Obama's government (as opposed to judicial) appointees are being approved pro forma.