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Holder defends Perez’s tenure at Justice Dept.

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder is defending Thomas Perez’s tenure as head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and says he would make a great secretary of Labor.

Holder told leaders of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that Perez deserves praise for bringing a record number of cases alleging voting rights violations and police misconduct. He says Perez also has won record amounts of money in discrimination lawsuits.

Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte criticized Perez for declining to intervene in two whistleblower cases that could have won millions for taxpayers. Holder says Perez sought approval before making the decision and acted in the best interests of the country.

A Senate panel is expected to endorse Perez’s confirmation on Thursday, despite Republican opposition.

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