Workers Take a Back Seat as Acosta Drives Toward Confirmation Following Committee Vote

Statement on Senate HELP Committee Vote Advancing Trump Labor Nominee


 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today following a vote in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to advance Trump Labor nominee Alex Acosta to a confirmation vote of the entire Senate, Allied Progress released the following statement:

Alex Acosta’s infamous mismanagement at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division may help him fit in with the cast of incompetent cronies that Senate Republicans already have rushed to confirm, but it should disqualify him from ever again holding a post in the federal government. Today’s vote was yet another example of lawmakers ignoring a Trump nominee’s glaring deficiencies, and instead marching with the president in lockstep as he hands important economic posts in our government over to those who are more interested in pleasing Wall Street insiders and powerful special interests than the hard-working Americans who built this country,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.

He continued, “Mr. Acosta’s record has been exposed as one riddled with scandal, mismanagement, and a callous disregard for the concerns of American workers. It is as if the Trump administration failed to learn its lesson from Mr. Puzder’s disastrous nomination. The American people deserve and demand a Secretary of Labor who will stand up for workers by fighting for fair wages, workplace safety, and basic rights. Mr. Acosta has done nothing to indicate he is up to this challenge, and we urge the full Senate to vote against his nomination.”

As a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), assistant attorney general overseeing the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Acosta’s record has been marked by scandal and incompetence. On the NLRB, he routinely sided with businesses, even voting to make it easier for employers to fire striking workers or threaten those seeking to unionize. When he was assistant attorney general overseeing the Civil Rights Division, an independent inspector general found that partisanship and ideology had been introduced into hiring and that Acosta did not take sufficient action once made aware of these practices. His mismanagement of the division led to the departure of many experienced, career, civil rights lawyers. As U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Acosta went soft on a billionaire in a high-profile sex case involving “underage girls.” He also oversaw the bungled prosecutions of several individuals accused of terrorist activities. Acosta is a political activist with deep ties to conservative movement legal organizations. He has assisted Republicans’ political campaigns and attended elite conservative political gatherings.

In December, Allied Progress launched Trump Transparency Project, an initiative aimed at holding the incoming administration accountable for its economic appointments and policies that betray America’s middle class. You can read the project’s 49-page research dossier on Acosta here.

Allied Progress played a leading role in opposing the confirmation of President Trump’s first nominee for Labor Secretary, fast food CEO Andy Puzder. Facing tough scrutiny, Puzder ultimately withdrew his nomination and just last week announced his resignation as CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

To speak with Karl Frisch about Acosta’s nomination, please contact Charlie DiPasquale at 202-464-6916 or cdipasquale@skdknick.com.

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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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