Senate approves labor chief Acosta to finish Trump Cabinet confirmations

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta received full Senate confirmation on Thursday, becoming the last of President Donald Trump's Cabinet secretaries to receive approval. He replaced Andrew Puzder for the nomination after Puzder's withdrawal in February. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

April 28 (UPI) — The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed the last of President Donald Trump‘s Cabinet secretaries, approving labor chief Alexander Acosta as the president nears his 100th day in office.

Acosta, the last Cabinet secretary to be announced, won confirmation by the upper chamber with a vote of 60-38.

Acosta, a former U.S. Attorney in Florida and head of the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division, experienced a rather smooth confirmation process.

“Helping Americans find good jobs, safe jobs, should not be a partisan issue,” he said at his confirmation hearing last month. “I will work to enforce the laws under the department’s jurisdiction fully and fairly.”

Acosta, 48, promised the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that he would not be guided by partisan politics.

“As a former prosecutor, I will always be on the side of the law and not any particular constituency.”

Trump’s first nominee for the labor slot was Andrew Puzder, who withdrew from consideration in February after it became known that he hired an undocumented immigrant housekeeper in the past. His candidacy was further questioned when it became known his wife accused him of domestic abuse in the 1980s, a claim she later walked back.

Eight Democrats voted for Acosta’s confirmation Thursday, including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Mark Warner of Virginia. Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Gary Peters did not vote.

The vote makes Acosta the final Cabinet secretary to be approved. The Senate still needs to confirm one more Cabinet-level nominee, though — Robert Lighthizer for U.S. Trade Representative.


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