WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Associates Inc Union News Service) — By a 60-38 vote, the GOP-run Senate on April 27 approved President Donald Trump’s nomination of Florida law school dean and bank official Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor. Acosta will be the sole Latino in Trump’s Cabinet.
Eight Democrats, most of them holding seats that are up in Trump-carried states next year, joined 51 Republicans and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) in voting for Acosta. The other Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) opposed him.
“The test for a Labor Department secretary is a simple one: Will you stand up for 150 million U.S. workers? Alexander Acosta failed this test,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
The AFL-CIO had no immediate comment on Acosta’s confirmation. It had been skeptical about his record, despite his prior service as a National Labor Relations Board member. But several unions, including the Laborers and the Fire Fighters, previously supported him, citing that record. Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger called Acosta “fair, reasonable and accessible,” while Laborers President Terry O’Sullivan said Acosta’s “fairness and respect for justice make him highly qualified” to be Labor Secretary.