Senate Likely to Vote on Acosta Labor Nomination This Week

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By Tyrone Richardson and Ben Penn

The Senate is expected to vote on the confirmation of labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta this week, an aide for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Bloomberg BNA April 24.

McConnell (R-Ky.) filed cloture on the nominee April 24. The procedural step sets up a likely floor vote in the coming days.

“The vote will be this week,” the aide for McConnell said. “After the cloture vote, there will be up to 30 hours of debate before the final vote happens.”

Acosta, a Florida International University law dean, is expected to be confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate. Acosta was confirmed as a National Labor Relations Board member and for two other senior positions under President George W. Bush.

Republicans have been anxious to get a labor secretary confirmed to make up for the time lost when fast-food executive Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination in February.

Obama Regulations on Chopping Block

The GOP is seeking a labor secretary to help them repeal several Obama-era regulations, including the fiduciary rule limiting conflicts of interest for retirement investment advisers and a delayed rule to expand overtime eligibility for workers.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved Acosta for the post on a 12-11 vote along party lines March 30. The top Democrat on the HELP Committee, Patty Murray (Wash.), told Bloomberg BNA then that she took issue with Acosta’s testimony during his confirmation hearing days earlier. That included “not showing willingness to stand up to” the Trump administration and stand up for “the rights of workers,” she said. Bloomberg BNA was unable to immediately reach representatives of Murray for comment April 24.

Acosta said during his March 22 confirmation hearing that he is open to updating overtime eligibility requirements.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tyrone Richardson in Washington at trichardson@bna.com; Ben Penn in Washington at bpenn@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Christopher Opfer at copfer@bna.com

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