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Chao confirmed by unanimous consent motion

Washington -- (CNN) -- The Senate has confirmed Elaine Chao as Labor Secretary. The Senate voted by unanimous consent at 1:19pm on Monday.

Senator Craig Thomas (R-Wyoming) offered Chao's nomination for confirmation. There were no objections and Chao was immediately confirmed.

A spokesman for Sen. Thomas said the Senator was asked by Majority Leader Trent Lott to introduce Chao's name on Monday because there was no reason to hold the vote until Tuesday.

"No one on either side had any problem with Chao's nomination," the spokesman said, "They just decided to be done with it,"

The Senate had been scheduled to debate Chao's nomination on Tuesday, but her nomination was always expected to easily pass. Confirming Chao by unanimous consent means there was no opposition to her. Elaine Chao is the wife of Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, the powerful chairman of the Senate Republican campaign committee.

Chao was nominated after President Bush's first choice, Linda Chavez, withdrew her name when she was found to have given shelter and employment to a Guatemalan immigrant who was in the U.S. illegally.



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