Trump Now 0-2 in Vetting of Labor Nominees, Picks Alexander Acosta

18 Hours After Andy Puzder Backed Out, President Nominates Scandal Plagued Bush-era Lawyer

Americans Encouraged to Contact Senators at


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, less than 18 hours after Andy Puzder withdrew his name for consideration, President Trump named Bush-era lawyer R. Alexander Acosta as his second choice to lead the Department of Labor. In response, Allied Progress released the following statement from its executive director, Karl Frisch:

“President Trump is now 0-2 in the vetting of his Labor nominees. Anyone willing to look beyond Mr. Acosta’s Wikipedia page would see that he is a controversial figure whose mismanagement of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division led to scandal and a years-long investigation. It took the Division years to recover from the Bush-era mismanagement that happened, in part, on Acosta’s watch.” 

“Simply put: the last time Alexander Acosta managed a division of a federal agency, it ended in scandal and now President Trump wants him to manage an entire federal agency.”

“We understand that the President is still reeling from his last failed Labor nomination, but that doesn’t mean he should nominate someone who is wholly unqualified for the job. Americans deserve a Secretary of Labor who will fight for workplace safety, fair wages, and the rights of working families. It’s clear Mr. Acosta is not that person.”


Inspector General Found Unlawful Introduction of Partisanship and Ideology Into Hiring at Civil Rights Division Managed by Acosta

  • “As the U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility found, the Bush administration unlawfully introduced partisanship and ideology into the hiring of career attorneys.” [American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine, “Rebuilding Civil Rights Enforcement,” Fall 2010.]

Inspector General Said Acosta Did Not Take “Sufficient Action” Once He Had Information About Discriminatory Hiring Practices at Civil Rights Division

Mismanagement by Acosta and Colleagues at Civil Rights Division Led to a Brain Drain

  • The mismanagement by Acosta and his colleagues led to a “Brain Drain.” According to the ABA, “The Division suffered a brain drain that left it short of expertise in key areas, such as the ability to put together a complex pattern or practice case against a large public employer, or the experience to take on the complexities of a major investigation into lending discrimination. [American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine, “Rebuilding Civil Rights Enforcement,” Fall 2010.]

Allied Progress was among those leading the charge against Puzder. It released a 20-page research dossier on Puzder, conducted rapid response activities, and launched hard-hitting television ads targeting key senators encouraging them to oppose Puzder’s confirmation.

To speak with Karl Frisch about the Acosta nomination please contact Jon Reinish at 202-999-0461 or

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Allied Progress is a nationwide, progressive advocacy organization that uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold Wall Street and powerful special interests accountable. Since launching in 2015, the organization has led high-profile campaigns on several issues including reforming the payday lending industry and exposing the those working to cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).



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