The United States Senate has confirmed President Trump’s nomination of R. Alexander Acosta to be the next secretary of labor. Acosta, who had been serving as dean of the Florida International School of Law, was confirmed by a vote of 60-38 on April 27, 2017. He was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence the next day.
Secretary Acosta, the last of President Trump’s Cabinet department nominees to be confirmed by the Senate, takes over from career Department of Labor (DOL) official Edward Hugler, who has been serving as acting secretary since January.
Acosta has not tipped his hand publically to indicate specific policy issues that will be among his priorities in the coming months. Shortly after being sworn in, however, he released a letter sent to DOL employees identifying broad themes that he hopes to address, including American jobs vanishing overseas, American workers being replaced by foreign workers, and a lack of skills for available jobs.
Now that he is on board, Acosta can begin filling some key subordinate leadership positions within DOL, including a new director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to replace Thomas Dowd, another career DOL employee who is serving as acting OFCCP director. Acosta’s appointment also now opens the door for President Trump to nominate other DOL leadership slots that require Senate confirmation, such as the Wage and Hour Division administrator and solicitor of labor.
Members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) can read more here.