Brief

UPDATE: Senate confirms Alexander Acosta as labor secretary

UPDATE: The Senate on Thursday confirmed Alexander Acosta as labor secretary, MarketWatch reported. With this, President Donald Trump has filled his cabinet secretary posts within his first 100 days in office, a period that ends on Saturday. Acosta, who will be sworn in Friday, is the dean of the Florida International University Law School and the chairman of U.S. Century Bank. He previously served on the National Labor Relations Board, as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and as an assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush. Acosta is the first Latino nominee to the president's cabinet.

Dive Brief:

  • Trump's nomination of Acosta followed the withdrawal of his previous nominee, Andrew Puzder, in February, according to The New York Times.
  • The fast food executive had come under fire from Democrats and labor groups for his stance on regulatory issues, the minimum wage and opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Puzder also lost some Republican support, and the GOP was reportedly concerned he would not be confirmed by the Senate.
  • Puzder's decision to withdraw came less than a day before his scheduled hearing with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. 

Dive Insight:

The Associated General Contractors and the Associated Builders and Contractors were among a slew of industry and trade groups to send a Feb. 13 letter of support for Puzder to the Senate. The letter cited Puzder's business experience, history of job creation and pro-growth policies as evidence that he would be a successful DOL head.

Upon news of Puzder's withdrawal, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement that praised the move and said it demonstrated "the collective power of working people." The union organization was part of a concerted effort to persuade lawmakers not to confirm Puzder. 

Construction industry groups praised Acosta's confirmation Thursday. The ABC said it looks forward to working with the new labor secretary "to advance policies that expand job training opportunities, create safe and healthy job sites and grow the American economy," while the National Association of Home Builders said it aims to work with Acosta to reduce regulations and find solutions to the construction labor shortage.

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Filed Under: Legal/Regulation
Top image credit: Ed Brown