Days after the surprise withdrawal of Andrew Puzder as President Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee,
the White House is now confirming their new pick for the job, former member of
the National Labor Relations Board R. Alexander Acosta.
Acosta is currently Dean of Florida International University
Law School, and the Trump administration is highlighting his “long and
distinguished career in public service.” Compared with the previous pick, the
initial response to the nomination of Acosta has been far more positive, both on
the left and the right of the political spectrum.
Background information shared by the White House notes that Acosta
has served in three Senate-confirmed positions, including as a member of the
National Labor Relations Board. He was the first Hispanic man or women to hold
the rank of Assistant Attorney General and went on to serve as the United
States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Since 2013, Acosta has
also served as Chairman of U.S. Century Bank, the largest domestically owned
Hispanic community bank in Florida. Media outlets have widely noted that Acosta,
if confirmed, would be the first and only Hispanic member of the president’s cabinet.
President Trump actually began the first solo press
conference of his term by naming Acosta as his new nominee. He quickly moved on
to other subjects, but the president observed the following of Acosta, as
recounted in the official White House transcript of the presser: “He has a law
degree from Harvard Law School, was a great student. Former clerk for Justice Samuel Alito. And he has had a tremendous career. He's a member, and has been a member, of the
National Labor Relations Board, and has been through Senate confirmation three
times, confirmed—did very, very well.
And so Alex, I've wished him the best.
We just spoke. And he's going to
be—I think he'll be a tremendous Secretary of Labor.”
Interesting to note, the retirement industry is apparently being
a little more cautious this time around about sharing in speculations as to who will finally
fill the DOL Secretary role—and when. This is only natural, as so far the effort
to fill the leadership role at the agency tasked with enforcing the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA) has been a rocky effort, with
multiple last-minute delays in scheduled confirmation hearings and the outright
failure of the first nominee to get through a Senate controlled by Republican
NEXT: Very different
response from Puzder