Warren Questions Labor Secretary Nominee Acosta Before Confirmation Hearing

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
GoLocalWorcester Political Team

Alexander Acosta
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a 23 page letter to the U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Nominee, Alexander Acosta, outlining a variety of questions concerning Acosta’s qualifications and views on issues before the department. 

The letter was sent before Acosta’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that is scheduled for Wednesday. 

Read the Letter HERE 

"Your career has included little engagement with labor law, regulation, and enforcement, and, to my knowledge, you have not conveyed your views on federal labor law in public statements or publications to any significant extent. While I am eager to hear more about your stances on these important issues at your upcoming HELP Committee hearing and in your written responses to my questions, I am very concerned about the possibility that you will simply fall in line with President Trump's anti-worker statements and policies, which would be disastrous for the millions of American workers who rely on the Department of Labor's enforcement of labor law,” Warren wrote. 

The Letter 

The letter brings up concerns about Acosta’s tenure as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice, specifically a hiring scandal caused in part of Acosta’s ineffective management of his own deputies, as determined by DOJ’s Inspector General. 

Warren also brings up Acosta’s record at the DOJ saying that it reveals "a willingness to overrule agency experts based on political consideration and a failure to impartially defend the civil rights of all Americans, particularly minorities and other historically disenfranchised groups.” 

Warren questions Acosta's views on a other important issues that fall within the Labor Secretary's purview, including enforcement of wage and hour laws, implementation of the DOL's conflict of interest rule, regulations protecting workers from discrimination, plans to address labor law violations by federal contractors, and ensuring workplace health and safety rules and fair scheduling for workers.

The letter follows a similar document sent to President Trump's first nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, who withdrew his nomination before responding. "While Andrew Puzder's withdrawal was a victory for every American who works for a paycheck, the bar for Secretary of Labor is not simply ‘better than Andrew Puzder,'" Senator Warren wrote.

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