Alexander Acosta, President Trump’s second nominee for Labor Secretary, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for his confirmation hearing on March 22. Acosta is a former U.S Attorney, former assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and a former member of the National Labor Relations Board. If confirmed, Acosta would be the first Hispanic member of Trump’s cabinet. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and other advocacy groups sent a letter to committee members expressing concern about Mr. Acosta’s time at the Department of Justice; a report found that, under his watch, the Civil Rights Division engaged in politicized hiring that favored candidates with conservative views and that Justice Department rules and policies were broken. The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) said Acosta’s record “is filled with clear evidence he is not a friend to America’s 12 million restaurant workers.”
Dr. Ben Carson was confirmed (58-41) as the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development on March 2. Six Democrats and one Independent voted to confirm Carson; no Republicans opposed him. The Washington Post article that reported that the Trump Administration was considering $6 billion in cuts to HUD noted that the document it received was likely drafted before Carson’s confirmation (see the related article in this Human Needs Report for more information). Only a simple majority of the Senate is needed to confirm nominees for administration positions.
For more information on President Trump’s cabinet nominees, including statements opposing many of the nominees from CHN members, see CHN’s page on the Trump Administration.